McDonald’s: Perhaps the Greatest Hypnotic Brand

When it comes to multi-tasking, I was quite adept in my 20s at maneuvering the steering wheel with my knees while holding a hamburger in my right hand and box of fries in my left hand en route to a client meeting. Highways were helpful, as most fries ended up in my mouth. City driving usually required vacuuming, although I admit I may have stretched the 3-second rule by many minutes at times. Thankfully, my wife Sandy convinced me to stop eating fast food before my first cell phone. Burger King was my hands-down favorite for burgers, while McDonald’s had a slight edge on fries.

But they’ve both been replaced by healthier culinary choices, so neither was making money off of us until recently. The hypnotic power of McDonald’s snared us again when Sandy bought a Happy Meal for our 12-month-old grandson Jeremiah. His first, and guaranteed not to be his last. When our two children were young, we took them to McDonald’s. As their appetites grew, McDonald’s had larger portions to offer: all the way to super-sizing! So now our son’s son is beginning his McDonald’s adventure. If you’ve seen a recent Happy Meal, you probably laughed (like me) at how tiny they look. I thought it was just because I’m bigger now until Sandy said they actually did shrink the sizes to appease health advocates. A fellow team member recently said her boys got mad at McDonald’s for shrinking their Happy Meal fries – which was the perfect time to convince Lisa to buy them adult meals. You can be sure Lisa’s boys and our Jeremiah will be shoveling in larger-sized portions in future years … until their wives make them stop.

Why is it we can’t stay away from McDonald’s food? Is it so convenient? Is it that good? Is it the marketing? Or is it a brand that has become firmly entrenched into our culture? If I’m around to see my great grandchild, I wonder what kind of toy will be in the Happy Meal.