Just what the fuck is this shit?
Yes, McDonald’s has apparently decided to re-brand the Hamburglar into a flasher with some very specific fetishes for reasons absolutely no one on the planet can adequately explain. But wait, there’s more, via Mashable’s Laura Vitto:
I am genuinely baffled by what they were going for here. Fedora? Velcro snow boots? Those fucking cargo pants again? Why did Hamburglar need a gritty reboot? This is several leftover blue gels from Traffic, a murdered Mayor McCheese, and a whole lot of angst from being a Zack Snyder film.
It’s no secret McDonald’s sales are in the tank lately, but if they haven’t learned from their frenzy-eyed Happy Meal gremlin or their weird vest-and-cargo-pants Ronald McDonald, the answer isn’t to re-brand their mascots. No one is refusing to eat their food because they think Grimace is corny,* it’s because McDonald’s food sucks. Maybe they should make it not suck, and then we’ll think about eating it again.
Here’s the real issue: McDonald’s is competing with chains like Chipotle and Panera. In the first case, we’re talking about a company that offers far better food at only a couple bucks more than McDonald’s for a meal, while in the second, it’s an exercise in the collective Stockholm Syndrome that apparently causes people to think Panera isn’t just Subway with slightly better branding and ingredients that look like they might at least once have been food.** Some of McDonald’s competitors have figured out how to neatly pivot to stay relevant amidst the rapidly shifting fast food landscape: Taco Bell doesn’t even try to deny their destiny as the one-stop late-night stoner-shop any more, Burger King, for all its foibles, at least tries to do genuinely new things, and KFC has started fully marketing to the laziest, shlubbiest middle American consumer. McDonald’s, meanwhile, doesn’t know what it wants to be and keeps refusing to actually commit to a course of action, because doing so entails the risk such a decision might be the wrong one. Unfortunately for them, it’s pretty clear that marketing shit like this isn’t going to pull them out of the tank.
* The house has stopped taking bets on whether they redesign Grimace as a lithe woman in purple punk chic with spiky violet hair.
** I’m convinced the only reason people like Panera is because Subway has set the bar so low for sandwiches anywhere Firehouse doesn’t have a foothold. Subway avocado looks like the Ghost of Peat Moss Past; there’s really nowhere to go from there but up.
Image via McDonald’s.
Contact the author at WilyUbertrout@gmail.com.