This week, McDonald’s announced that it will be launching a new advertising campaign on January 2, in which the fat food chain is going to tell “our farm-to-fork story about our food,” according to a tweet from chief marketing officer Neil Golden.
OK, I should have said “fast” food, but at least now you know where my prejudices lie. See, when McDonald’s has a campaign that celebrates the farmers and fresh produce behind its food, I can’t help but feel like the wool is being pulled over our eyes.
They can claim that their food is originally grown on a farm and that there are some people who can be described as farmers who oversee its production. But let’s be real. We’re aware of the rise of agribusiness, and we’ve seen the miles upon miles of corn fields, read about the overcrowded conditions for the animals, and tasted the food that has been processed beyond recognition.
Hey, I like to eat at McDonald’s sometimes. I like it because I like cheap, fried, salty food. But I don’t pretend for an instant that it’s good to me. Or that it is connected to the good earth. If I want that, I’ll go somewhere else, thank you very much.
So, McDonald’s wants us to recognize that its food doesn’t come out of a petri dish. The McDonald’s ad shown this week features a potato farmer in a field of potatoes. I’d actually seen a similar series of ads for Domino’s but I never made the connection that they were intended to make. Perhaps you’ve seen them: The Domino’s campaign features people in a focus group office who are suddenly revealed to be in a tomato field. I’ve seen this ad maybe a dozen times, and never really understood what they were trying to say, because it’s so insipid: they’re trying to remind us that the tomato sauce actually comes from tomatoes!
Watch the McDonald’s ad: