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“The McBlunder heard across Canada…”

I am not a crazy fanatical person… at least not yet.

But please picture this ad campaign…

“We have a brand new line of power tools we are excited to share with you – the latest and easiest power tools you will ever use!  Recently, we put them to the ultimate test.   We gave them to 5 moms to see if they could figure out how to use them!  You might be surprised at the results…”

Would that campaign fly today?   Would it be successful?

How badly would that company be ripped apart and criticized?

Moms can never be portrayed as incompetent or dummies, that would be commercial suicide.  But for the longest time, dads were fair game.  But I am happy to report that the tide is finally turning on the media portraying dads as dummies and buffoons.

Celebrate my brothers.  We have reached the tipping point, the critical mass, the 100th monkey has embraced the new reality that dads DO know what we are doing and most of us are really good at it!

From the Huggies debacle, to the recent Clorox fiasco, many big companies are starting to tragically learn that these little kitties have claws and don’t take too kindly to the notion that we are less than moms.    

But there is work to be done.  We must stay vigilant.  So smarten up Ronald McDonald!  You are on the naughty list!

Ronald, I was amused then irked by your latest marketing crusade: “REAL MOMS go behind the Golden Arches”.  These “All-Access Moms” will now have all the facts on the nutrition…”

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Essentially McDonald’s flew some cool mom bloggers around the country and showed them the beautiful food chain of their products; from field and farm to the backseat and floor of your car.

The moms rode tractors on potato farms, were shown the glorious life of “quarter pounder” cows, and toured the beautiful coops where chicken nuggets are mined.

The idea (and certainly not a new one) was for the moms to witness the process firsthand then be able to blog to their audience about the quality of the food.  Simple neat idea.  (I have been offered similar romantic corporate relationships in exchange for my audience but I declined. Wasn’t a good fit for me.)

Let me be clear.  I am not weighing in on the ethics of McDonald’s marketing, diabetes, or the quality of their food.  Ronald McDonald house is certainly a wonderful charity.  But what I hate is the exclusion of dads from this entire marketing process.   Where is the gender equity now?

Does “All-Access Dads” not sound sexy or credible enough?   Not ‘legit enough’?  What image pops into your mind?   Does it sound like we need cheerleaders, cars, and BBQ sauce to stay interested?

Wake up Ronald.  The “Mom and Tot” programs of yesteryear have now morphed into the more encompassing “Parent and Tot” programs.  It’s time for the corporations to let go of the 1980’s family stereotypes too: accept that dads are caring parents too!  (not babysitters!).  Just like the 1980’s anthem says, “We’re Not Gonna Take it ANYMORE!”

Does McDonald’s care about Dads?   Probably.   We are filling your drive thru lines aren’t we Ronald?  Do you assume we are all fast food junkies that sneak Happy Meals on the nights when it’s our turn to cook?    Shhhh kids, eat your fries and don’t tell mommy!

If McDonald’s assume the dads are coming anyway, then this “All–Access Mom” directive must be a desperate plea to appeal to moms?  (since mom makes the food decisions).  Mom is the gatekeeper and if she is onboard that McDonald’s is ethical and healthy, then all is good right?!   While that arrangement might be true for some families, it is not representative of the dynamic of today’s health conscious families.  

But I hear ya Ronald.   Why would you include a dad in the “All-Access” process?     What dad cares about healthy food?  His food groups are based on colours, with beer as the 5th food group.  Besides, if he was given all access to the farms, he would probably spend his time giggling while watching cows poop, be goofing off on the tractors (like Kevin Bacon in Footloose), streaking through the Quonset, and making the chicken carcasses dance Gangnam Style.  Is that why he wasn’t included in this discussion?

Ronald.  I know you are a big corporation that is designed to make money for shareholders.  I get that.  But if you want to appear family friendly, then please recognize what a family NOW looks like.

You need to evolve again Ronald.  You have evolved before as you did with your old Styrofoam packaging.   You have had plenty of bad ideas in the past, including your McPasta, McDLT, McPizza, and McAfrica burger.   Perhaps you can add this “All-Access Moms” to that list of marketing blunders.

So take off your bad idea pants and open up your “All-Access” to include all parents and caregivers, not just moms.  We all feed our children and care about the quality of the food!  Please include us all in the healthy food discussion.

Super Size THAT!

Until next time…

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