Enough with the Rapper meals
Ever since the 1992 “McJordan Special,” made in partnership with basketball star Michael Jordan, McDonald’s has leeched off the successes of celebrities. Michael Jordan became the first celebrity-endorsed by McDonald’s, receiving his very own “McJordan Special” released in the Chicago area for a limited time. The meal included a Quarter Pounder with bacon, barbeque sauce, a side of fries, and a soft drink.
Sound familiar? Well, it is the spiritual ancestor of meal deals like the “Cactus Jack,” or anything else Travis Scott has done with McDonald’s. So much for it being the “bona fide phenomenon” that Eater.com calls it. Aside from my self-proclaimed vegetarianism, it is no surprise that these meals do not make any impression on me. They lack the collective creativity that international McDonald’s franchises have to offer. Instead of a McSpicy Paneer or Thai Green Chili Chicken Burger, the United States is punished with a 10-piece chicken nuggets, fries, and a medium Coke for the low-price range of $10-12 depending on the state. To put a bandage on a broken arm, a special BTS-inspired grease-covered bag and “Korean-inspired” Cajun sauce comes with the meal. In comparison to other meals, the BTS meal is the “best.”
Up next on the pedestal of innovation comes Saweetie’s way of doing things. Thanks to her very fascinating eating habits, “How Saweetie does it” became McDonald’s slogan for the celebrity’s campaign. The poster itself contains an odd array of ingredients in the meal mashed together with a heavy drizzle of barbeque sauce. The innovation? A sweet and sour sauce repackaged as Saweetie Sauce. Very thoughtful of the PR team to include such a new take on their menu. Let us not forget the disaster of J. Balvin’s meal, which only included a Big Mac, fries, and an Oreo McFlurry (only available once a year when they have a working soft serve machine).
So, why exactly does McDonald’s keep doing this? According to McDonald’s CEO and USAToday, “the Famous Orders platform was based on a simple idea: what unites all our customers, including celebrities, is everyone has their go-to McDonald’s order.” The truth is, McDonald’s took a large hit on sales during the first wave of the pandemic, down two percent of Wall Street’s initial projections. With the worldwide success of BTS, it is no surprise they took up an offer with the group. Additionally, after the release of BTS’s summer single, “Butter,” single, “Butter,” McDonald’s began to incorporate the song into their commercial. BTS truly got the company back on the rise, boosting sales by 26 percent in the quarter that the meal was released. Compared to 2019, numbers were up an additional 15 percent during the same period.
This lack of funds still provides no decent explanation for their lack of creativity. Although the latest items do not see much solidarity in sales, a celebrity endorsement could fix this issue they have had in the past. In conclusion, McDonald’s will never stop faking innovation, but we can hope for a more interesting celebrity. Fingers crossed that it is a holy meal from the Pope.