Recently the McDonald’s corporation posted advice to its employees cautioning them about the food the company makes and warning them not to eat it. The memo made particular mention of the high content of salt, sugar and fat in the food, that fatal triumvirate in the American diet. While not exactly a mea culpa, the tone of the posting seemed closer to apology than what it should be, a marketing strategy. Just as Subway used the narrative of Jared Fogle for years, coupled with its slogan, Eat Fresh!, McDonalds has an opportunity to turn their admission into more sales. Instead of Jared, the hamburger chain can create a more enduring—even eternal—ad campaign by having the Grim Reaper sponsor their meals.
The tagline is equally simple. Instead of Eat Fresh!, next to a figure draped in black and holding a scythe McDonalds can spout: Meet Death. This sobering sales blitz has the potential to spur more media tie-ins and an enormous following, not just the outspoken, cultish supporters of shows like Duck Dynasty. For while everyone has to die eventually—why not have it taste good, too?—McDonalds could help produce yet another movie version of Death Takes a Holiday. Aficionados of the food will don black capes as a sign of solidarity, chubby illuminati in pursuit of the McRib, which will also conceal their body’s bulk. For while we could afford to make better choices, and occasionally even have corporations on our sides, trying to protect the Latin corpus, American freedom means both flesh and spirit must weaken in the name of convenience.
Matt Kolbet teaches and writes near Portland, Oregon.