atomic_fungus (atomic_fungus) wrote,

#2516: I know you jerks have the budget

Text on a McDonald's drink cup:
Now for a limited time only we're adding Chipotle BBQ Bacon Angus. This smoky, tangy sauce topped with bacon & cheese, will add some spice to the variety!

SIC, and there is so much wrong with the grammar of that nonsense I scarcely know where to begin.

Considering how much fucking money it cost McDonald's corporation to design and print approximately eighty-five billion cups with this text on it, don't you think they could have paid someone a few bucks to consult Strunk & White or the Chicago Manual of Style?

The terminal phrase "...add some spice to the variety!" is bad enough in its lameness even without the massive grammatical errors preceding it. I'd think the marketing people at McDonald's corporation could do much better than that; hell, I could do better than that.

A much more correct version:
Now--for a limited time only--we're adding the Chipotle BBQ Angus hamburger to our menu. The smoky, tangy sauce, topped with bacon and cheese, will add some spice to the variety!
As you can see, the altered version is more readable and it conveys exactly the information they wish to convey.

An alternate correct version:
Now, for a limited time only, we're offering the Chipotle BBQ Bacon Angus. The smoky, tangy sauce topped with bacon and cheese will add some spice to the variety!
Pithier than the first correct version, the main correction is to omit the extraneous comma after "bacon & cheese". As written on the cup, the comma inserts a completely useless pause in the middle of the sentence.

The other problem is that they mention the product ("Chipotle BBQ Bacon Angus" hamburger) and then say "This smoky, tangy sauce...." They're offering a new hamburger but then refer to "this sauce", which is why I changed "this" to "the": if you intend to describe the hamburger, you can't start by saying "this sauce". If you want merely to describe the chipotle sauce, you can't then talk about bacon and cheese on top, because they're not part of the sauce.

"This sauce" talks about the sauce; "The sauce" begins a sentence painting a picture of a tasty, spicy hamburger with bacon and cheese.

The redundancy and robustness of the English language is the only thing that allows this dreck to convey the intended message: McDonald's has temporarily added a new Angus burger to their lineup which has chipotle BBQ sauce on it, and you (the reader) should try it. But in order to extract that message, my brain had to do far too much work on deciphering the melange of text they extruded onto the cup. That's not effective advertising.

Jesus, I majored in engineering and I'm better at marketing than the people at freakin' McDonald's?

("It got you to write about it! That's free exposure for them!" Yeah. I'm sure all five of you are going to run right out and buy a freakin McDonald's hamburger because I wrote about it. Sure. That'll add a whopping $30 to McDonalds' bottom line. Well, guess what? I wouldn't eat that chipotle BBQ crap if it was free, because it gives me the flaming runs. You know, the kind where your ass burns for 20 minutes after you've left the bathroom. I don't need that, and neither do you. Avoid it like the plague. Especially because they got the goddamned grammar wrong on the cup!)

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