Wednesday, 27 July 2011

#12: I'm Looking Through You

Would you like lies with that?

So it seems McDonald's in their relentless pursuit of evil has decided to do some public relations and attempt to appear to be making a healthy initiative towards decreasing child obesity. How?! By adding apple slices and fruit to all 'Happy' Meals and removing a few fries. Great! So now let's all go to McDonald's and buy our children the new and improved happy meals while we celebrate our brilliant parenting with a super-sized Big Mac 'value' meal. I hope you can all see where I am going with this. By appearing to be offering healthier 'food' choices and options, especially to children who always want to go anyway, McDonald's has made it easier for parents to make the decision to go to McDonald's and thus more business for McD's. People were always going to go anyway, but now they can reduce their cognitive dissonance (knowing one option is right/preferable and yet choosing to the alternate) and guilt by convincing themselves they are making a 'healthy' choice. The only winner here is McDonald's! Does anyone actually believe that McDonald's has even the slightest bit of interest in you health or happiness?! Of course not; you'd have to be a complete idiot to think that! McDonald's and every fast food retailer like it, is interested in one simple thing: your money ($$$!) and also finding new and clever ways to collect it. I am not here to argue the nutritional value of any of McDonald's food items, since there is not point to this (there isn't any!), but rather to condone the not so subtle ways that McDonald's with it's multi-million (billion?) dollar marketing budget is able to blatantly convince (ie trick) people to eat their food day after day. The food is NOT cheap, it is NOT healthy, and it is NOT even real. Sure, it probably tastes very good; no argument there. My point is that you are giving your money and your approval to a corporation that couldn't care less about you or your families’ health and yet you believe them when they pretend to do so. McDonald's is making you think that you are making better health choices and so you sell your soul and give them your money and your business. Is eating at McDonald's a bad thing? No, I could never say that. But allowing them to 'buy' your business with effective yet devious marketing makes you the fool in this case. This is no different than their recent attempts to soften up their image by redesigning their restaurants with modern furniture and art (or so I've heard, having not stepped into a McD's in over 7 years), and their commercials and advertisements that make no mention of their food or products but rather play catchy music and have attractive models smile all the time. McDonald's is not going away any time soon, and honestly, I don't think it needs too. Okay, maybe I do; but it ain't happening. What needs to change is our ability to recognize when we are being manipulated and coerced into making unhealthy decisions yet being convinced otherwise. What they're selling; I'm not buying. I suggest you do the same!

In summary:

McDonald's offers new 'healthy' Happy Meals (which are neither healthy nor happy).
Parents don't feel so bad about taking their kids. They might even go more often!
McDonald's gets more money and customer approval.
Society loses...big time!

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