Reading pop culture: McDonalds is lowering American McDiscourse

McDonalds is launching its new McLatte and testing it in certain states. Washington is one of them, and we’ve been bombarded by advertisements. I saw an ad on TV last night (can’t find it on YouTube yet) featuring two women sitting, sipping coffee having an intelligent conversation about Latin American politics and reading literature. One of the women puts down her book and says something along the lines of “Wait, why are we doing this? It’s not like we’re in some fancy coffeehouse.” The other woman puts down her McLatte and says “Yeah, and I don’t even know where Paraguay is!” The marketing website for the drink (http://www.unsnobbycoffee.com) features similar rhetoric: “No crazy names or sizes. No second language required.”

Is McDonalds really suggesting that most Americans resent the “second language requirement” needed to order coffee? Does the thought of having to learn a handful of Italian words drive McDonalds customers into a rage? Or are they just hopping on the anti-coffee snobbery bandwagon driven by Dunkin Donuts? These ads seem especially out of place in Western Washington, a hub of coffee-culture—nobody I know would dream of getting a latte at McDonalds. In fact, many Washingtonians I know are too snobby for Starbucks—they prefer smaller local cafés or drive-through stands that purchase local roasts. What hope does McDonalds have in advertising to this market? And why is their rhetoric so stringently anti-intellectual and anti-coffee culture? God forbid we acknowledge the continental history of our favorite beverage instead of Americanizing it. What do you think—would you order a latte from McDonalds?

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~ by Ian D. on April 30, 2008.

3 Responses to “Reading pop culture: McDonalds is lowering American McDiscourse”

  1. Have you seen the billboard on N. State that says “large is the new tall?” Gross.

  2. I’m totally going to try one – even if I lose a year of my life because of it. But of course, I’m an unashamed coffee snob – BEANS STRAIGHT FROM THE GROWER FOR LIFE, BITCH!

  3. It definitely enrages me to say grande. Seriously. No sarcasm. I swear. Really.

    But yeah, I live in Seattle and I’ve been pretty much flooded with McCoffee ads. I picked up a free latte–because hey, college students + free coffee = ok, this is awesome–and it was McNasty. I prefer my barista with my Sufjan Stevens playing and my local Seattle feel.

    Definitely overdoing the Mcs, aren’t I?

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