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Business

McDonald's wants customers to use its app for a truly pitiful reason

Why would you use a fast-food app? For this?
Written by Chris Matyszczyk, Contributing Writer on
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Oh, his lover will really appreciate this.

(A screenshot from a McDonald's ad.)

Chris Matyszczyk/screenshot

It's all about the money.

It's always about the money.

When one of your favorite brands begins to encourage you to use its app, there's really only one reason -- to get you to buy its wares more often.

That's where the pandemic suited fast-food brands perfectly. People were stuck at home. They could use apps to get pick-up or delivery. For the likes of McDonald's and Chick-fil-A, business did rather well.

You might wonder, though, what McDonald's is thinking now. I might tell you that it wants you to use its app for, well, please take a little saunter with me.

The burger chain's UK arm has just released an ad that may boggle minds and even stomachs.

It features a long-distance truck driver. It's a tough job. It requires a lot of sitting. It requires a lot of pining for your loved one, who, in this case, is called Lorraine. It also, apparently, requires a lot of eating at McDonald's.

Here, you see, our trucker passes his time by singing -- just one song, in fact. "Coming Home" by Leon Bridges. He also passes his time stopping at every conceivable McDonald's he can.

"Why would he do that?" you might ask. Perhaps that's all that's open on his travels. Perhaps it's the sheer convenience and value that seduces him.

Or perhaps it's the fact that he feels an urgent need to use his app to rack up as many McDonald's MyRewards points as he can.

One or two people may fear for his health. All he seems to eat is more and more McDonald's. A lot of McDonald's.

The points are mounting at a precipitous pace. Could this truck driver have really eaten every breakfast, lunch and dinner at the same place?

Could the people who approved this ad not have wondered that this doesn't set a healthy example for those who'd like to live a long time?

Why is he really doing this? It's here that McDonald's tries to turn on the charm. This truck driver, you see, has earned enough points to get himself a free McChicken sandwich.

Free always has its attractions. How lovely that he won't have to pay for this delicacy.

Oh, but then there's a twist.

The lovely Lorraine is there to meet him at the door of what one presumes is their home. Our hero saunters into the kitchen, clutching a gift for her behind his back.

You're already there, aren't you? It's the McChicken Sandwich.

Also: McDonald's and Chick-fil-A both have a big problem. Only one has a solution

Yes, our hero loves his Lorraine so much that he's stuffed his face for days and days, just so that he can avoid paying $1.29 -- at least in the US -- for a gift to impress his Lorraine.

Oh, it's all played as if this is something of a joke.

But how many, on watching this ad, might consider a few things?

One, a fast-food brand encouraging its customers to constantly fill their gullets with rather unhealthy food may not be acting entirely responsible.

Two, love may not revolve around money, but there's still something entirely unloving about bringing a now-cold McChicken Sandwich back to your lover in order to inculcate your questionable eating habits into her life and tell her how much you care.

And three, Lorraine, is this really the right man for you?

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