Have you heard about the new marketing campaign that McDonald’s has come up with? The one where you pay with lovin’? The first I heard of it was just before the Superbowl commercial bowl aired when my husband mentioned it to me as something they were doing. Then just the other day one of my friends experienced it in reality. She paid for her meal with a hug.

Then I read this article: McDonald’s Creates Worst Marketing Campaign in History of Marketing. I’m a big fan of MoJo – I read a lot of their articles…but occasionally there are ones that make me frustrated or that I think are little too much. This one in particular frustrated me.

The author writes about someone he knows who experienced the pay with lovin’ where she had to pay by asking someone to dance. The author and the person who had to dance both railed against McDonald’s new marketing strategy as being embarrassing and terrible. The author even went so far as to suggest that someone should be fired.

You can’t take five seconds out of your day to ask someone to dance – what about asking the cashier? To give a person a hug? To smile about something silly and just go with it? It’s too embarrassing for you to get a free meal by being goofy?

When did we become so uptight? I’m a shy person by nature and don’t like being made the center of attention. I’ve learned how to deal with this – as I work in the events industry and you don’t really have a choice of keeping in the background all the time. But even in high school when I was at my most shy I would have laughed at this. I would have gone along with it. I’d be bright red and obviously embarrassed but you know what, I’d do it without complaint.

There are children that see these things – hugs, dancing – as something they do every day. They don’t see adults doing this. Why can’t we as adults bring a little joy in our life? The cashiers have to do it as part of their job and they’re going along with it – so why don’t you buckle on a pair and dance? Why don’t you laugh and be stupid and for one second not really care what everyone thinks?

Whatever you may think about McDonald’s as a company, their food or whatever, you went into that establishment expecting to pay for a meal with money. But you would rather give them money from your wallet than be embarrassed. That’s a problem. As someone who has been bullied, been made fun of, who accidentally embarrasses themselves on occasion I know what it’s like to be forced into an embarrassing situation. Not once did I get the reward of free food. But I still shook it off, gave a laugh and put a brave face.

So I say bravo McDonald’s – thank you for attempting to get your customers off their phones, interacting with a smile, and realizing what’s really important in this world. Just watch a child – they know what’s important. Laughter, dance, smiles and play.

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