McDonald’s Pushes Apples In The Land Of Pork Barrel Spending

I’m visting Washington DC this weekend, and being a news and political junkie, I happened to pick up free copies of Politico and The Hill, two tabloid-shaped papers that focus on insider politics, congressional races, and the like.
So who’s ponying up cash for full-page color ads in these papers? Folks you’d expect to want to influence Congress: defense contractors like Northrop Grumman and MEADS, pharmaceutical companies like Novartis. Then there’s McDonald’s:
Mcds.jpg
The back page of The Hill contains a full-page ad from Mickey D’s pushing their apple slices. Here’s the copy:

We believe
in backyards
and best friends
and in being 7 years old forever.
And when it comes to choices,
we believe in good ones.
Like Apple Dippers.
Real, fresh apple slices with low-fat caramel dip on the side.
We believe in them so much, they’re staying on our menu,
regardless of how many of them we sell.
Not just because they’re only 105 calories.
But because in a world where it’s easy to doubt anything,
we believe in trying to do the right thing.
Even if it takes a while to catch on.

An ad like this, placed in a political newspaper read by government officials and other Beltway folks, always gets me thinking. Is McDonald’s attempting a pre-emptive strike against the possibility of more fast-food regulation? Are they trying to reshape their image with people who could have influence over them? Certainly, a bunch of expense account lobbyists and politicians aren’t exactly McDonald’s target customer audience.
I’ve said it before: Corporations and unions know that from a business standpoint, influencing politicians is often more vital to the well-being of their brands than influencing the public.
Or am I reading too much into this?

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About Dan Goldgeier

Blogging on AdPulp since 2005, Dan Goldgeier is a Seattle-based freelance copywriter with experience at advertising agencies across the U.S. He is a graduate of the Creative Circus ad school, and currently teaches at Seattle's School of Visual Concepts. In addition, he is a regular columnist for TalentZoo.com. Dan published the best of his TalentZoo.com columns in a book entitled View From The Cheap Seats: A Broader Look at Advertising, Marketing, Branding, Global Politics, Office Politics, Sexual Politics, and Getting Drunk During a Job Interview. Look for it on Amazon in paperback and e-book editions.

  • http://adpulp.com Ronald McDonald

    You are not reading too much into this. Fast feeders use lobbyists to push their agendas as regularly and aggressively as Big Tobacco, oil companies and other greedy corporations.
    http://www.commercialfreechildhood.org/news/2010/05/foodindustryfollows.html
    http://www.alternet.org/environment/22259
    http://www.stopcorporateabuse.org/political-interference

  • http://adpulp.com David Burn

    And their efforts pay off. McDonald’s has been named one of America’s Top 10 Healthiest Fast Food Restaurants by Health.com.

  • http://multicultclassics.blogspot.com HighJive

    What a bizarre list—and forget the fact that healthiest fast food restaurant is an oxymoron. Mickey D’s beat out Subway, which didn’t even make the Top 10. Plus, the majority of restaurants on the list are barely direct competitors with Mickey D’s. What’s next? Healthiest cigarette brands? Greenest oil companies?

  • http://rooneyrooney.worpress.com Rob Rooney

    McDonalds is evil. This and Their opposition to the new healthcare laws is proof