Is McDonald’s Olympic ad a glorious nugget?

Screen shot of McDonalds Olympic ad 2014McDonald’s. The iconic brand name conjures up many images and memories. Some good. Some not so good. One thing it doesn’t bring to mind is glory. I’ve never once sat down to eat a Quarter Pounder with cheese, Big Mac, or Chicken McNuggets and felt glorious. Not even once while eating the fries? Nope. Never.

Yet, that’s the feeling that McDonald’s was attempting to create in its Olympic advertising this year. They associated eating Chicken McNuggets with winning a medal, especially a gold medal, at the Olympic Winter Games in Sochi, Russia.

I’m not really sure why this effort was green lighted. Possibly McDonald’s was trying to raise the profile of processed chicken that has been fried and paired with any selection of sauces. In my mind it had the opposite effect. It actually made me think less of the food and the brand.

I admit, I eat McDonald’s food. I also admit that I am not – nor will I ever be – an Olympic athlete. I will never know the glorious feeling of victory at a world class level. But, if I believe the ad and go out and eat up some Chicken McNuggets, I’ll be just like the Olympians biting into the gold medal they just worked so hard to win.

I wonder what sauce they picked to dip that medal in?

What do you think? Can Chicken McNuggets and Olympic glory go hand-in-hand? Leave a comment with your thoughts.

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Slow News Day

I was reminded today that even when you think it’s a “slow news day,” it really isn’t.

On those days when the news media isn’t out covering shootings, robberies, accidents, or other splashy news, they get to cover the good stories. I mean those stories that are positive. I mean those stories that highlight a part of the community that often goes unnoticed. Whether it be the people or an organization, these are the types of stories that make you smile, or make you interested and want to get involved to make a positive difference.

I was also reminded today that news doesn’t always happen where the camera lens can pick it up. What goes unseen by the media machine are positive stories and also those that turn lives upside down with endings we’ll never know.

It all comes down to a judgement call by the editors, reporters, and others involved in the news business about what their audiences want to know about. And it means for people like me, who are in the PR industry, that there are no slow news days.

Late Night Throw Down

Jay Leno Tonight Show imageLast night was the final curtain for a TV staple.

Jay Leno hosted his last Tonight Show (again). As with everything, change is inevitable. He’s passing the torch to Jimmy Fallon, who earned celebrity on Saturday Night Live and then his own late night show airing after Leno’s Tonight Show on NBC. He replaced Conan, who at one time was the heir apparent to Jay Leno. That was the first time NBC made the move to move Leno out. It lasted a year.

This time around, the bigwigs at NBC asked Jay if he wanted to leave. With Letterman slipping in the ratings and Jimmy Kimmel devouring the competition in the post-late news time slot, Jay was holding the high ground, but just barely. Like a champion, he chose to go out on top.

Now, it is Jimmy vs. Jimmy. But what about Conan? Remember him? I do. He was “IT” when I was in college. We’d stay up and watch his show. It was brilliant at the time. He took one shot at NBC and Leno in his monologue on Leno’s last night. Something about NBC having the Olympics and being able to show someone who actually can pass the torch. His audience loved the jab. It is witty. Yet, I think he could have taken the high road instead. But, old grudges die hard sometimes.

Of course, his show is on TBS. You know, that station that shows the baseball playoffs and March Madness games that nobody watches otherwise. Yeah, that one. It’s a perfect place for the red-haired step child to have a mini-temper tantrum.

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Smoke out

CVS/pharmacy storeCVS, the nation’s No.2 Pharmacy, announced Feb. 5 that by October it will stop selling tobacco products in its 7,600 stores. Good for them.

I wrote a letter to the editor of my local paper when I was a kid advocating for the governor to raise the price of cigarettes in New York to $5 a pack. I thought that a higher price tag would cause people to think twice about forking over the cash to pay for the “cancer sticks.” I was wrong.

Although the number of smokers has decreased since I wrote that letter (and the price per pack has gone up over $5), people still smoke. Personally, I think it is disgusting. I’m happy to see that CVS made this positive PR move to strengthen their brand and create a differentiation between them and their competitors in the cutthroat corner pharmacy market. I think it will bode well for them in the long run.

On the flip side, I still think that if people want to use their hard-earned cash to fuel their tobacco habit, that they should have a right to do it. We do still live in the United States, after all.

Just keep the smoke away from me.

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Ice Ice Baby

A Facebook friend of mine posted a pic of ice hanging from her house this morning after a rather punishing snowstorm. Made me think of the ear worm by Vanilla Ice that hit the charts back in the 1990s. I plugged it into Spotify Radio and the first song that came up was “Baby Got Back.” Not the original, no, no. This was MUCH better. It was a remake of this Hip Hop classic by none other than Vanilla Ice!

Something about the fact that this was pulled out of obscurity for me to hear today makes me ever more certain that the Universe wanted me to laugh a lot today.

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