McDonald's being the official restaurant of the Olympics is a bit like XBox being the official study aid of the National Spelling Bee. But, of course, the biggest crime of this year's games coverage was the omission of Ray Davies from the U.S. broadcast of the closing ceremony.
The "one weird trick discovered by a mom" meme has persisted for a while now in the illustrious world of web ads. And it's not just moms -- all sorts of ordinary folks are coming up with strange tips and tricks for our collective benefit. Just a few weeks ago, I spotted a rather paranoid ad that read: "47yo patriot discovers 'weird' trick to slash power bill & end Obama's power monopoly." (I've heard Obama accused of many things, but being an electricity cartel kingpin is a new one.)
I wonder how this trend came to be. Was there some marketing study on the clickability of different phrases, and "weird trick" came out on top? Especially if the weird trick came from moms, dads, patriots, and other salt-of-the-earth folks? The implicit rejection of professional expertise here frankly says a lot about our culture. Don't need no fancypants scientist telling us how to lose our flab!
In 2011, the Washington Post reported on a Federal Trade Commission investigation of the "tiny belly" ads; they're the front end of a highly profitable scheme involving a large number of dubious dietary supplement companies. The fact that anyone is seduced into giving their credit card numbers to these people boggles the mind.
I decided to take a week off from the Republican primaries and other assorted nonsense in order to address the pressing matter of "five-fingered" footwear. The other naked-themed items leapt out at me around the same time. I don't have a problem with minimalist shoes or other back-to-basics products, but I do find them curious cultural artifacts. Simplicity has major authenticity in this cluttered world. (Somewhat-related strip here.)
While researching this strip, I learned that Naked juices are owned by PepsiCo and Odwalla by Coca-Cola. It's like a high-end fruit drink proxy war!
Blogging this one a bit late, as it's been a busy week. I had a big freelance deadline, spazzed my lower back out, and hosted my sister-in-law and her husband while waddling about like a duck. But better late than never, right?
I originally intended to draw a cartoon about that douchetastic governor of Maine who wanted to remove a mural depicting the history of labor from the Department of Labor. But while checking Daily Show clips to see if they'd done my idea (they had, dammit), I came across this utterly ridiculous McDonald's ad touting the artisanal nature of Big Macs. It's only 17 seconds -- check it out!
I just love the perky smile on the McDonald's employee's face as she pours her heart and soul into that Big Mac. Notice those chic, Asian-style bowls she's grabbing the pickles and lettuce from. Why do I get the feeling those are not standard-issue at all McDonald's? And then there's the barn. Why, all Big Macs start out in cute little red barns, don'tcha know! Heck, why go to your local farmer's market at all when you can get hand-crafted, 100% beef burgers, lovingly made just for you by a chipper woman in a cute ponytail?
On a related note, my friend Anne pointed me to this article, in which a photographer compares advertised images of fast food with what you actually get.
[UPDATE: Here's a video on how burgers are prepped to look perfect in ads -- fascinating!]