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Designed and written by: Christina Connolly 518-253-9788 Phil Hamlett and Jeremy Stout Academy of Art University MFA Graphic Design Typeface: Futura Paper: Red River Matte Printed: Epson 3800

McFuture McFuture

Christina Connolly

Hi! My name is Christina Connolly and I’m a graphic design student interested in examing all the criticism which is directed towards the McDonald’s Corporation.


I became interested in McDonald’s after

all started. The details of how the brand

seeing the movie Super Size Me. I became

has evolved over time is very interesting.

fascinated with The McDonald’s Videogame

Looking back to the McDonald’s of the

created by La Molleindustria and I enjoyed

1960s and 70s, I really like what they used

playing the online game. The different

to be. It was a place where families went

aspects of the game open your eyes to the

every few months, enjoyed cheap burgers

process behind your burger. I realized many

and fries and had an enjoyable time. Today

people have discussed the topic of the affect

the image of McDonald’s has changed,

McDonald’s has on our society. I was curious

I think of a dirty place where you can get

as to why McDonald’s and not any other

really cheap food which won’t be made the

fast-food chain is targeted by lawsuits,

way you ordered. As the leader in the

movies, books, games, and television shows.

fast-food industry, I know that McDonald’s

I wanted to dive deep into this subject

has a profound affect on other fast-food

and figure out the reasons behind all this

chains. McDonald’s has the power to

controversy. As the research phase of this

change the attitudes we have of fast-food.

project began, I started with the history

Many steps must be taken to move towards

behind McDonald’s to understand where this

a healthier fast-food for the general public.


Table of Contents The Rules From the creation of pastures to the slaughter of cows, from the restaurant management to the branding and advertising, these processes...

1 2 3 06


History Richard and Maurice McDonald left New Hampshire for southern California hoping to find jobs in Hollywood. In 1937 they opened a drive-in...


Patures Ecology has been a growing trend in recent years. According to this pseudoreligion every economic activity leads to the planet’s destruction. Some fools...


Feedlot The secrets of metabolism will probably never be known. And there is total uncertainty about cancerous food. Yesterday pork was unhealthy...








A balanced diet is the secret to healthfulness. This campaign will explain how McDonald’s meals are rich with fats and proteins, foundational...


It’s useful to have powerful friends. Especially when our employees start to organize and ask for those obsolete “working rights” or when the...


Shame on you, you bankrupted our company! Years and years of corporate culture has been destroyed! This is the final message you recieve when...



The Rules

From the creation of pastures to the

a force for good. The vehicle of this story

slaughter of cows, from the restaurant

is the infamous online game, The McDonald’s

management to the branding and advertis-

Videogame created by La Molleindustria.

ing, these processes behind the golden

They makes fun of the atrocious effects

arches are usually not what you think

McDonald’s has on the environment, nutri-

of when you first hear McDonald’s. You

tion, culture, and politics. The use of humor

picture a juicy Bic Mac with golden fries

and sarcasm throughout the game helps

and a large cup of coke. Welcome to your

people realize the potential horrors behind

McFuture where the future of McDonald’s

the McDonald’s Corporation if they don’t

benefits the education of young children,

change. Welcome to The McVideogame, you

helps serve its community and is the leader

are now embarking on a journey through

of a new healthy fast-food revolution. But

the world behind McDonald’s. The goal of

McDonald’s wasn’t always a positive force

this game is to make money, but it’s not that

on the masses of its consumers, from the

simple, behind every sandwich there is a

1960s to 2010 they were not thought of as

complex process you must learn to manage.1


Crew Member

Grain fed Cow




There are four sections of game play, Pastures, Feedlot, Fast-food, and Headquarters. As the CEO of the company you are now in charge of making all the important decisions which affect every part of the process.



Sandwich Money


Marketing 11

Pastures Your first task as CEO you must choose which plots of land you want to buy, then decide if you want to create a cow pasture or grow soy for your cows in the feedlot to eat. You can increase the pasture utlilization by adding one cow to a cow pasture. You can sell back your land if in debt. You can demolish a millennia-old rainforest or wild tribe village to create cow pastures or grow soy.

Feedlot Your cows move to the feedlot after they have grown up and are fatten before they are automatically slaughtered and made into burgers. You can add animal flour, industrial waste, or hormones to the fodder to fatten up your cows faster. When you add animal flour to the fodder it’s likely that your cows will get mad cow disease so you must destroy them before they are slaughtered.


Fast-food In the restaurant you must hire crew members and cashiers so that customers will come to your restaurant and can be served. You can hire up to six employees and there are a few ways to deal with them. You can reward a crew member with a badge or discipline them. Your manager will let you know if you must fire a crew member.

Headquarters There are three divisions, the Board of Directiors, the Marketing Division and the Public Relations Office. The Board of Directors lets you see profit trends and monthly budgets. The Marketing Division sets up advertising campaigns for the food pyramid, McDonald’s for the third world, children want McDonald’s, or McDisney’s to help promote the brand. The Public Relations Office corrupts powerful people in various positions.





Richard and Maurice McDonald left New

In 1948 the McDonald brothers fired all

Hampshire for southern California hoping

their carhops and closed down their restau-

to find jobs in Hollywood. In 1937 they

rant. They installed larger grills, eliminated

opened a drive-in restaurant in Pasadena

two-thirds of their menu items by getting rid

where they sold hotdogs. In 1940 they moved

of things needed to be eaten with a fork

to a larger building in San Bernardino and

and knife. They opened the McDonald’s

opened the McDonald’s Bar-B-Que Resta-

Brothers Burger Bar and designed their new

urant. The restaurant was located near a

Speedee Service System, a radically new

high school and employed twenty carhops.

way of preparing food, which increased

By the end of the 1940s the McDonald

speed, lowered prices, with higher volume

brothers had grown tired of the drive-in

of sales. The Speedee System divided food

business always looking for new carhops

preparation into separate tasks performed by

and short-order cooks. They were tired

different workers, who were only taught how

of teenagers breaking or stealing their

to perform one task. All burgers were sold

dishes, glassware, and silverware. 2

with the same condiments, no substitutions.2

The following is the transformation of the Golden Arches logo over the past 70 years starting in 1940. The logo of McDonald’s overtime has changed with suttle details but the M was always part of their identity.


In 1949 the world famous McDonald’s fries

In 1954 Ray Kroc a milkshake machine

made its debut and replaced potato chips

salesman sold 10 multi-mixers to the brothers.

on the menu. The brothers designed a new

Ray was inspired by their restaurant and

building which could be better spotted from

envisioned selling mixers to them for every

the road. On two sides of the roof, Richard

new restaurant they opened. Ray became the

McDonald put golden arches which formed

franchising agent for the McDonald brothers

the letter M from a distance. It took a little

but eventually became frustrated with them

while for customers to get used to going into

because they didn’t want to expand as rapidly

the restaurant to order instead of waiting in

and as much as Ray Kroc did.2

their car. The brothers hired only young men and soon word spread about their cheap

In 1961 Ray Kroc purchased the company for

burgers and families lined up at McDonald’s.

$2.7 million from the McDonald brothers. The brothers got 1.9% royalty on gross sales but

The brothers first franchised the Speedee

later Kroc didn’t acknowledge this agreement

Service System to Neil Fox in Phoenix, AZ

because it wasn’t in writing. Kroc is credited

in 1953. When Richard McDonald went to

with the founding of the modern company

check on this new restaurant he was surp-

McDonald’s Corporation and is known for his

rised and shocked that it looked exactly the

philophy of QSC and V: Quality, Service,

same as his restaurant and even used the

Cleanliness, and Value.

same name. Richard asked Neil why he kept the same design and name he replied with,

Ray Kroc implimented Henry Ford’s assembly

“Why change it?”

line in his restaurants, he standardized the restaurants to ensure every Big Mac would

After this encounter the brothers started

taste the same no matter where you were.

franchising the entire conept of their

He maintaned strict service standards and

restaurant. Stanley Clark Meston created

refunded people’s money who waited for more

a standard design featuring the Golden

than five minutes for their order. Kroc told

Arches one on each side of the building.

people, “The definition of salesmanship is the

The second restaurant opened in Michigan

gentle art of letting the customer have it your

and the third in Downey, California both

way.” He remained the ultimate salesman,

in 1953. Three more franchises opened

serving as a chairman of McDonald’s from

the following year in Azusa, Pomona, and

1968 until his death in 1984.3

Alhambra, California.

McDonald’s used to be a treat for children, a place they went on the rare occasion. Today people eat there for convenience and don’t 18

appreciate the experience.

When McDonald’s first opened, burgers were 15¢ and 4¢ extra for cheese, 5¢ coffee, and 20¢ for a milkshake. Each customer was served at a speedy 15 seconds. —The Fifties Web Index 4

“Within 6 years of airing his first national TV ad in 1965, the Ronald McDonald clown character was familiar to 96% of American children, far more than knew the name of the President of the United States.” —John Mariani , America Eats Out.5



fluid ounces in a 6 large Soda in 1955.


32 fluid ounces in a 6 large Soda in 2010.




Ecology has been a growing trend in

environmentalist to combat you detractors.

recent years. According to this pseudo -

The McDonald’s Corporation has made

religion every economic activity leads

some moves to becoming more sustainable

to the planet’s destruction. Some fools are

in the real world but still have a long way

angry because we destroy forests, or they

to go. McDonald’s has built three LEED

think pastures cause drought. At the

accredited restaurants and will be construct-

moment they seem harmless but they are

ing more in the future. The newest LEED

gaining followers and could start a

restaurant is known as the learning lab and

defamation campaign against us.1 This is

is intended to aid the company’s design team

a warming in the game if you make certain

to help understand how green technologies

decisions which affect the environment,

can be employed in both new and existing

some pastures cost more than others and

restaurants. This McDonald’s is open 24

you are just trying to make lots of money

hours a day collects data continuously, giving

for the corporation. In the game you can

the design team a large volume of data for

respond to this warning by corrupting an

comparative analysis for future sites. 7




As the CEO you have to chose what land to buy and for what purpose, buying land and creating a cow pasture costs $5,000 versus growing soy $10,000. Buying a millennia-old Rainforest to create a cow pasture $3,000 versus growing soy $8,000. Buying and demolishing a wild tribe’s village to create a cow pasture $3,000 versus growing soy $3,000.


Green Design

Oil to Fuel

In Savannah Georgia’s Abercorn Common,

In addition to green restaurants McDonald’s

McDonald’s is part of the nation’s first

has made strides to convert oil to fuel as

green-certified shopping center. This envir-

a way to create a more sustainable supply

onmentally friendly development contains

chain. Restaurants team up with a contr-

sustainable practices such as stormwater

actor who picks up the used cooking oil

which seeps through porous pavement into

which makes fries. The oil is picked up in

soil, rooftops which reflect heat to keep the

bulk and sold to companies who special-

restaurant cool inside, and the sun serves

ize in refining the oil into clean burning

as primary lighting most days.

diesel oil.

The owner of the first ever sustainable

McDonald’s has stepped into this arena about

McDonald’s, Gary Dodd says, “It’s a

six years ago with a test run in Austria and

beautiful McDonald’s.” He operates 12

their effort has gradually gained momentum.

restaurants in the Savannah Georgia area.

Today, biodiesel initiatives are occurring in

He thinks the design is special and enjoys

major markets across Europe, Latin America,

the energy savings. Gary had the option

and the United States.

of relocating an existing restaurant or becoming part of Abercorn’s green-built

McDonald’s Europe is leading in this

reconstruction, and he decided to jump

oil-to-fuel effort. They recycle all of their

on board with the amazing project. In this

used oil and send approximately 80% to

McDonald’s there are lots windows, bike

the production of biodiesel. There are

racks, and parking lot signs that give

7,500 restaurants in the United States

low-emission vehicles preferred spaces. 8

enrolled in the program.9

The small steps to make McDonald’s eco friendly is still not enough. There are only a few suppliers which travel thousands of miles 28

to deliver your food.

In Austria and the U.K. some restaurants use some of their reformulated oil to fuel their McDonald’s delivery trucks. Closing the loop by taking their used products and putting them to good use back into their system. —Aboutmcdonalds.com9

“In March we start planting potatoes and about 120 days later we start harvesting, in the middle of July. The potatoes are peeled, washed, cut, precooked, then frozen and packaged to be sent anywhere in the world.” —Troy Grimes, Director of Farm & Dairy Operations, Lamb Weston10




McDonald’s describes four suppliers on their

McDonald’s with beef and also have

website under the meet our suppliers section.

locations all over the U.S. McDonald’s has

Hundred Circles Farm, located in Paterson,

very few suppliers in comparison to the

Washington, supplies the potatoees to Lamb

amount of restaurants in the United States.

Weston, who processes the potatoes into

As a consumer who is starving and wants

McDonald’s french fries.10 Lamb Weston

food fast, you don’t really think about how

is located in Boardman, Oregon which is

far your food traveled to get to you. It is

about 44 miles from the farm because its

important as a consumer to make the right

very close to the Washington border.

decisions about the food you buy, and not

Gavina Coffee, located in Vernon, Calif.,

buy from a big corporation who doesn’t

supplies McDonald’s with 100% arabica

put money back into your local community.

coffee which comes from nineteen different

McDonald’s advertises farm fresh on their

countries. Keystone Foods which supplies

packaging but they only recieve food from

beef, chicken, and fish has locations all over

giant suppliers who do not disclose where

the United States. Lopez Foods supplies

their suppliers get any of their food.

Locavores Over the last decade the United States has

interation with the supplier of your food is

starting moving towards the trend of eating

so valuable. As more and more people have

and buying local. Food is traveling farther

started adopting this as a better way to

and farther these days to get to your dinner

shop, fast-food chains need to join as well.

table and the effects on the environment are

If fast-food restaurants added local farmers

starting to be more aparent. The production,

to their supplier list the positive effects on

processing, and transport of our food is very

the economy and environment would be

harmful to the environment. Many farmers

astonishing. Money would be put back into

are being socially responsible and there are

the local economy where the fast-food was

many environmental advantages to sustain-

bought and the local farming industry would

able agriculture, but its up to consumers to

prosper. McDonald’s needs to change how

become part of the sustainable food chain.

they supply their food and how that affects

Farmers markets are the best way to get

the environment. McDonald’s is a powerful

farm fresh food to consumers. The prices

influences on the other fast-food chains and

are cheaper than in grocery stores and the

if they made a change, others would follow.

McDonald’s advertises farm fresh foods and tricks you into believing that they have healthy ingredients. The bottom line is that their food is too unhealthy.




The secrets of metabolism will probably

In the past ten years questioning the

never be known. And there is total uncert-

nutritional value of McDonald’s foods has

ainty about cancerous food. Yesterday pork

grown popular. There have been books,

was unhealthy, today it’s tobacco and

doumentaries, and art projects. The amount

tomorrow... who knowns! It all depends on

of lawsuits against McDonald’s has pushed

the relations between the nutritionalist on

them to add nutritional facts to their pack-

the many corporations’ payrolls. Convince

aging, as well as on the back of the place

one of them you can disprove the general

mats for trays. Adding nutritional facts does

belief that the obesity trend is related to our

not make the food any healthier, but that

business.1 This is the message you get before

hasn’t stopped millions of people from eating

chosing to corrupt a Nutritionalist which you

McDonald’s food. McDonald’s need to be

must do if you choose to fatten your cows with

more responsible for their affect on the

industrial wastes, hormones, or animal flour.

American public and have healthier food.

Grain fed Cow



Adding animal flour to the fodder $0. Adding industrial waste to the fodder $0. Adding hormones to the fodder to make your cows fatter faster $10 per month. When a cow gets mad cow disease you must destroy the cow before the slaughter before they are made into burgers for your restaurant.


“ One fast-food

hamburger contains meat from 40 -100 cattle raised in six countries.” —Eric Schlosser, Fast-food Nation: Meat and Potatoes.11


Big Mac Enthusiast The Big Mac Index Don Gorske is featured in the movie Super

The magazine the Economist is a Big Mac

Size Me and is known as the Big Mac

Enthusiast as well. Each year they write

Enthusiast. On August 17 th, 2008 he ate his

an article called the Big Mac Index which

23,000 th Big Mac and set a new world

started in 1986. This form of Burgernomics

record beating his previous one. He ate

is a simple and direct way of calculating

nine Big Macs the first day he tried one on

a global comparison of purchasing power.14

May 17 , 1972. He had 265 Big Macs in

The index compares the strength of differ-

June of 1972. Over 36 years he averaged

ent countries currencies by looking at the

1.75 per day. In the year 2003 he ate 741

prices of a Big Mac and translating them

Big Macs, which averaged 2.03 per day.

from original currency into the U.S. dollar.

He keeps every receipt and has 3 Big Macs

This is used to compare the strengths of

in his freezer in case of emergencies. There

different national currencies, assuming the

have only been eight days he didn’t eat a

costs of production is the same in each

Big Mac. One day was the day his mother

country. The Big Mac Index is an important

died and at her request he didn’t eat a Big

indicator of currency values in different

Mac. Other days included a snow day

nations and is used to see whether curren-

when McDonald’s was closed and days

cies are under or overvalued based on the

where he worked past the closing of the

comparison. In 1968 the Big Mac was

restaurant. He is 6’2” and 180 pounds

added to the national menu after being

with a Cholesterol level of 140.12

developed by Jim Delligatti an owner and


operator in Pittsburg.15 Don Gorske is interviewed by Morgan Spurlock in his movie when he went on a 30-day McDonald’s binge diet, where he ate all three meals of the day at McDonald’s. He tried to only exercise the same amount as the average American, and if asked to Super Size he always had to say yes. In the 30 days he gained 24.5 pounds, his body mass index increased by 13%, and his cholesterol level went up to 230. It took Morgan five months to work off 20 pounds and another nine months to work off the other 4.5 pounds while on a detox diet. He ate as much McDonald’s in 30 days as a person eating there once a month should consume in eight years.13

The Mega Mac is available in nine countries, it’s a double Big Mac with four beef patties with an extra slice of cheese.


The Big Mac contains 540 calories, within that 540: iceberg lettuce has only 1 calorie, american cheese 60, dill pickles 5, onions 5, and thousand island dressing 111. —Caloriecount.about.com16

Happy Meal Project


The New York City artist Sally Davies has

grandmother of eight from Denver, Colorado.

created the Happy Meal art project where

Joann left the Happy Meal uncovered on a

she has provided the world evidence that

shelf and revealed the results on her blog, in

McDonald’s food is not worth it. Sally took

which she gives healthy eating advice to

a Happy Meal sized burger and fries and

parents. Joann left her windows open but no

put it on her living room table and decided

flies or insects tried to eat the meal. On her

to watch what happened.17 She took photo-

blog she wrote, “Food is broken down into

graphs every day over 180 days and the

its essential nutrients in our bodies and turned

results are shocking. To our eyes the burger

into fuel. Our children grow strong bodies

and fries look almost the exact same on

when they eat real food. If flies ignore a

Day 1 as on Day 180. If you didn’t already

Happy Meal and microbes don’t decom-pose

known that McDonald’s food was bad for

it, then your child’s body can’t properly

you, now the world has realized that food

metabolise it either. Now you know why it’s

we eat doesn’t decompose the way normal

called junk food.”18 The disgusting results of

food does. Sally’s project was inspired by

these studies should make people think twice

a similar study done by Joann Bruso a

about what they are feeding their children.

Menu Differences McDonald’s has restaurants in 119 countries

different entrance. In many Islamic countries

around the world. Depending on cultural

the restaurants are certified Halal which

differences, the menus vary from country to

are the standards of how the food is pre -

country. The special menus are to meet the

pared. In Egypt such menu specalities are

needs of that specific poplulation based on

the McFalafel and the McArabia. In India

cultural dishes. Many people are fascinated

there are no beef or pork products, they

by the differences between countries’ menus

offer only chicken and fish along with many

and many bloggers talk of their McDonald’s

vegetarian dishes, such as the Vegetable

experiences. Israel is the only country which

McCurry Pan. They also have a version of

contains Kosher restaurants where you can-

the Big Mac called the Maharaja Mac which

not order a cheese burger because meat and

has two chicken paties instead of beef. In

dairy must be separated. Some restaurants

the Philippines they have McSpaghetti which

offer ice cream, shakes, and other dairy

is noodles with tomato-based sauce. These

products which are sold in separate parts of

menu differences make for interesting and

the store, they are sectioned off and have a

different experiences at different locations.

McDonald’s recently introduced apple dippers and 2% milk as an option instead of fries and soda for Happy Meals. 43



A balanced diet is the secret to health-

as many decisions to be made that affect the

fulness. This campaign will explain how

people. The fast-food restaurant is the only

McDonald’s meals are rich with fats and

part of this game that we as the customers

proteins, foundational substances for the

really interact with. The restaurant is the face

production of antibodies. They strengthen

of the company to its customers. McDonald’s

bones and memory without damaging the

serves as many as 58 million people per day

organism. We will also use well-known

around the world. McDonald’s has become

testimonals such as anorexic top-models.

part of our culture and therefore pop culture

With this campaign we also expect to

has taken how McDonald’s should be represe-

weaken the obesity associations’ claims.1

nted to the public. Over the years McDonald’s

This is the message before activating

has lost its power over their image and how

the food pyramid advertising campaign.

they want their company to be represented,

The McDonald’s Videogame lets you hire

other people have twisted their message into

employees and fire them as well. In the

humorus displays which make fun of every

fast-food section of the game there aren’t

aspect of their brand.

Crew Member


Hiring a new crew member $400 per month. Hiring a cashier $400 per month. Rewarding, discipling, or firing an employee $0. The Manager of the restaurant will tell you when you need to increase hamburger production. If you don’t produce hamburgers fast enough in the feedlot there won’t be any burgers for people to buy and eat.






Movies & Games

Family Guy

Since the 1970s individuals other than

In 2000 - 06 the show Family Guy has

McDonald’s have portrayed Ronald and

created many episodes which feature

other characters in different ways. In 1970

Ronald McDonald, Mayor McCheese and

Charlton Comics obtained a license to

Grimace. In an early episode titled, “Fifteen

publish Ronald McDonald comics. In 1984

Minutes of Shame” there is a cut away to

the book Ronald McDonald and The Tale of

Ronald McDonald and he is the father of a

the Talking Plant was written by John Albano

teenage girl who is going out for the night.

and drawn by John Costanza. In 1986 the

He lectures her that she can’t go out with

movie Hamburger was directed by Mike

that much makeup on. Ronald says, “You’re

Marvin which makes fun of Hamburger

a McDonald not a whore.”20 In another

University. In 1988 the movie Mac and Me

episode entitled “Petergeist,” the character

was directed by Stewart Raffill which is

Chris Griffin says, “I wish that scary looking

a movie all about product placement of

clown at the end of my bed would go

McDonald’s. In 1992 Sega produced

away.” Then Ronald McDonald draws the

Global Gldiators where you play as Mick

McDonald’s M and Chris screams and

or Mac and collect golden arches to ad-

covers his face with his covers.21 There is

vance, guided by Ronald McDonald.

another episode where Louis Griffin dresses

Also in 1992 Nintendo produced M.C.

up in a Grimace costume to turn on her

Kids a videogame where you venture

husband. There are two episodes which

through McDonaldland to return Ronald’s

feature Mayor McCheese, one where he

magical bag stolen by Hamburgular. In

gets shot by Lee Harvey Oswald as though

1993 Sega produced McDonald Treasure

he was President John F. Kennedy and

Land Adventure where you find four pieces of

another where Mayor McCheese is visiting

the treasure map and then find the treasure.19

Dr. Hartman and he is trying to get a

In 2006 La Molleindustria created The

transplant, but the Doctor explains that his

McDonald’s Videogame a parody of the

head is made of out a hamburger.

business practices of McDonald’s which highlights the ill affects of the company.

Ronald is portrayed as a scary clown or as a criminal killing police and taking hostages. This is not the friendly and happy clown 48

that McDonald’s created.

Logorama In 2009 the French company H5 directed a

which eventually gets out of control as he

17 minute animated film called Logorama,

crashes and flips his get away truck. As

which takes place in Los Angelos. The city

the police surround him he takes Big Boy

is made up of over 2,500 contemporary

hostage in a Pizza Hut. Before a snipper

and hitorical logos and mascots. The screen

is able to take Ronald out, an earthquake

emits a supernatural brightness, the colors

hits L.A. and the city begins to crumble

pop and everything is hygienically pure.

and brands tumble to the ground. Ronald

Product placements take center stage and

escapes the crumbling building and is

this disaster movie is set in Brand Utopia.

followed by a Michellin Man officer, Ronald

It’s what will happen when brands make

kills him and takes off on a motorcycle.

movies, as if they don’t already.22 The story

Ronald is eventually taken out by a Weight

is of two Michelin men who play the police,

Watchers sign and falls within a crack in

they are after Ronald McDonald who plays

the earth. The movie ends with Big Boy

a criminal on the run. As the story unfolds

escaping with the Esso girl and the camera

Ronald is spotted at a gas station and

zooms out of the eath into outer space.23

drives away, a high speed chase ensues




Overtime the representations of Ronald

Based on all the representations of McDonald’s

McDonald have gotten worse and worse.

in pop culture it is obvious that the American

On the website College Humor there is a

people and other countries don’t think too

short film titled, “McFuneral” where Ronald

highly of the McDonald’s Corporation. In 2003

has died and Mayor McCheese is saying

the word McJob was entered into Merriam-

a speech at his funeral. After his casket

Webster’s Dictionary. The CEO at the time

is lowered into the grave three roses are

Jim Cantalupo responded with a letter which

thrown and then french fries, a burger,

began, “A dictionary is usually considered a

and a milk shake. Ronald’s friends gather

reliable source for the true meaning of words.

after the funeral, Grimace begin by saying,

Not any more. Your inclusion of the term

”Who would have guessed it’d been a

“McJob”, with its definition of “low paying and

massive coronary, diabetes, and total organ

dead end work,“ is not only an inaccurate

failure that would have killed him.” Mayor

description of restaurant employment, it’s also

McCheese replies with, “I think everybody

a slap in the face to the 12 million men and

would ave guessed that Grimace. The man

women who work hard every day in America’s

ate twelve Big Macs a year for fifty years.”

900,000 restaurants.”25

Hamburglar enters and tells the group how he will be running McDonaldland now that the clown is gone. The clip ends with The King, Burger King’s mascot, blowing up the whole gang in the bar they were in. 24

McJobs are unfulfilling, workers are disposable, and the company treats them they’re interchangeable pieces. 50

Mc. Job noun a low-paying job that requires little skill and provides little opportunity for advancement. —Merriam-Webster’s Dictionary 26





It’s useful to have powerful friends. Especially

Throughout the years many individuals have

when our employees start to organize and

sued McDonald’s for various reasons. In

ask for those obsolete “working rights” or

1986 London Greenpeace a small environ-

when the anti-globalization movements rail

mental group distributed a pamphlet titled,

against our brand. An influential politican

“What’s wrong with McDonald’s: Everything

can repress demonstrations and neutralize

they don’t want you to know.” There were

workers who instigate uprising and revolts.1

many allegations against McDonald’s saying

This is the message before activating the

that they buy from greedy rulers and elites

Corrupt a Politican choice in the Public

and practices economic imperialism, wastes

Relations Office. In McVideogame you

vast quantities of grain and water, destroys

can also start advertising campaigns such

rainforests with poisons and colonial invas-

as Children want McDonald’s to bring in

ions, and sell unhealthy, addictive junk

more money for the company by creating

food. 27 The 20 -year court battle ended in

advertisements that put kids in the drivers

2005, and ultimately the incident was an

seat as the most powerful consumers.

embarassment to the company.

Corrupting a politican $300 per month, climatologist $200, health officer $200, nutritionist $200. Creating advertising campaigns: The Food Pyramid $600 per month, McDonald’s for the 3rd World $600, Children want McDonald’s $500, McDisney’s $900.


Marketing 55

Bradley & Pelman In August 2003, a suit filed by the parents

The lawyers of McDonald’s responded to the

of two girls claimed that McDonald’s and

case by saying, “Every responsible person

two of its restaurants in the Bronx failed

understands what is in products such as

to disclose clearly and conspicuously the

hamburgers and fries, as well as the conse-

ingredients and effects of its food, much

quence to one’s waistline, and potentially to

of which is high in fat, salt, sugar and chol-

one’s health, of excessively eating those

esterol.28 The two girls Jazlyn Bradley and

foods over a prolonged period of time.”29

Ashley Pelman sued McDonald’s claiming that McDonald’s made them fat. Bradley

This case is one of many where people

who was 19 years old, 5’6” and weighed

tried to blame McDonald’s for their prob-

270 lbs. Pelman who was only 14, 4’10”

lems. The Bradley and Pelman case was

and weighed 170 lbs.13

the inspiration for the film Super Size Me. Morgan Spurlock saw on the news this

The plaintiffs argued that McDonald’s

case against McDonald’s and wanted to

should therefore be held accountable for

prove the ill affects of eating their food.

the girls’ obesity, heart disease, diabetes,

The only way to create a good experiment

high blood pressure, and elevated chol-

in his mind was to eat only McDonald’s

esterol. Judge Robert Sweet said some of

for all three meals of the day for 30 days.

the arguments could be compelling if

Only two months after the film’s first

addressed in more depth, including the alle-

viewing at the Sundace Film Festival in

gation that the processing of McDonald’s

2004, McDonald’s phased out the Super

food makes it more dangerous than a

sizes from its menus. But in the summer of

customer would have reason to expect. The

2009 they brought back the Super size

complaint fails to allege the McDonald’s

soda and renamed it the Hugo Soda, which

products consumed by the plaintiffs

contains 42 fluid ounces with 410 calories.

were dangerous in any way other than that which was open and obvious to a reasonable consumer.29

Many people have sued McDonald’s and blamed them for their problems. Can you really blame them for selling unhealthy food if 56

people keep buying it?

Americans spend more money on fast-food than higher education, personal computers, computer software, new cars, movies, books, magazines, newspapers, videos, and music combined. —Eric Schlosser, Fast Food Nation.2

Advertising to Children In Seminole County Florida, a school district

“McDonald’s has a long-standing and

was running low on money. They decided

rich heritage of supporting education

to sell some add space on their report cards

and academic excellence,” said William

to McDonald’s. The ad offers free Happy

Whitman, a rep for McDonald’s USA in

Meals to students in Kindergarten through

Oak Brook, Illinois. “McDonald’s does

5th grade who have A’s and B’s, two or

not advertise in schools. However, we

fewer absences, or good behavior. This

continue to support education initiatives

agreement came after promises from the

in the communities we serve.”30 After

McDonald’s Corporation that they would

2,000 concerned and outraged parents

“ban advertising to children under 12 or

voiced their opinions McDonald’s

limit them to food and snacks that meet

voluntarily pulled their sponsorship of

certain nutritional guidelines.”30 The report

the report cards. The story gained nati-

card jacket showed Ronald McDonald, the

onal and international attention when

Golden Arches logo and a Happy Meal

a very concerned mother Susan Pagan,

menu items like Chicken McNuggets. 31

complained to the activist organization, The Campaign for a Commercial-Free

The school tried to explain to parents their

Childhood. McDonald’s spokesman Bill

decision, by reasoning that the Seminole

Whitman said, “It was McDonald’s

County district has created such partnerships

decision to remove our trademarks from

for years. Pizza Hut had been a partner

the reportcard jackets in Seminole County,

for a decade and opted not to participate

Florida, because we believe the focus

for the 2007-08 school year. McDonald’s

should be on the importance of a good

took its place. Under the terms of the deal,

education.” The Made the Grade program

McDonald’s fronted the bill of $1,600 for

still ran at the local McDonald’s for the

the printing costs associated with producing

rest of the year. 32

report cards for 27,000 students.30

Since Ronald McDonald’s inception in 1963, obesity rates have tripled among American children and type 2 diabetes has skyrocketed. 58

Retire Ronald Corporate Accountability International

Ronald McDonald does not communicate

located in Boston, is a company working

affectively with children and families around

toward a world where major decisions

a balanced active lifestyle. If you take a look

affecting people and the environment are

at the McDonaldland characters none of them

based on the public interest, not on max-

are a positive role model for children. Ronald

imizing corporate profits. In May of 2010

is a clown that looks to be a little overweight.

they suggested that Ronald McDonald

He wears giant clown shoes and his face is

should retire. For nearly 50 years the iconic

painted white. Grimace is a purple character

clown has hooked kids on unhealthy food

who is the shape of a triangle and is very

which has spurred a deadly epidemic.

overweight. The Hamburglar is a character who steals hamburgers from Ronald, in the

Alfred David Klinger a volunteer for

end Ronald always gets them back but how

Corporate Acountability International was

is stealing a good way to communicate

quoted, “On the surface, Ronald is there to

values to children.

give children enjoyment in all sorts of ways with toys, games and food. But Ronald

The Retire Ronald campaign has gained

McDonald is dangerous, sending insidious

momentum and they have a logo which

message to young people.”

depicts an old Ronald with a fat belly sitting in a rocking chair. McDonald’s may think

McDonald’s CEO Jim Skinner, replied that

that Ronald communicates affectively but

the beloved brand ambassador would not

recently he is not shown in any commercials

retire. Skinner told share holders “He is a

and there are no photographs of Ronald on

force for good.” He told shareholders that

their website, he seems to have disappeared.

Ronald, “...communicates effectively with children and families around a balanced, active lifestyle. He does not hawk food.”33


“Where should the line be drawn between an individual’s own responsibility to take care of herself and society’s responsibility to ensure others shield her?” ­­ —Judge Robert Sweet29





Shame on you, you bankrupted our

As a consumer it is your job to demand

company! Years and years of corporate

change from McDonald’s, to force them

culture has been destroyed!1 This is the final

to make better decisions which affect the

message you recieve when an angry Ronald

fast- food we eat. In the United States alone

fires you as the CEO and the game is over.

McDonald’s serves 26 million customers per

After playing McVideogame for about ten

day in over 14,000 restaurants. Over the

to fifteen minuets and going about $30,000

past few years as criticism has risen concer-

in debt, you’ve made one too many wrong

ning the nutrition of fast-food, McDonald’s

decisions, lost too much money, and the

has introduced the premium salads, real fruit

game is over. This game puts you the cust-

smoothies, as well as milk and apple dippers

omer in control over the entire process from

as a substitution for fries and a soda in the

start to finish. As a customer in the real world

Happy Meal. Some steps have been made

you have no say in the decisions within this

but there are many opportunities

process, but you do have power over what

McDonald’s must take to lead the way in

you buy and what you don’t buy.

the fast-food industry.

A long overdue McChange is finally here. No longer will children become obese eating McDonald’s, the fast-food revolution is here!


Poster Campaign More positive role model for children, Ronald McDonald

Williard Scott created the character Ronald McDonald in 1963 and filmed a few television commercials. In 1966 Michael Polakovs revamped Ronald to the make-up and costume you recognize today. 34 In 2010 it is time for Ronald to get another makeover. The new Ronald McDonald will be a positive role model for young children, he will look physically fit and wear athletic clothing, he will promote 30 minutes of exercise per day, and educate parents and children the importance of eating healthy and donating to your local community. This poster is an example of one in a series for the advertising campaign for the new Ronald McDonald.


Welcome the new Ronald McDonald! This weekend at your local McDonald’s come meet the new Ronald.

Learn about nutrition, exercise, and donating to your community Play GAMES and win PRIZES!


Videogame More positive representations in pop culture

From 1970-2010 there have been many different companies and individuals who have taken a stab at Ronald or the McDonald’s characters. The McDonald’s Corporation has lost control of its pop culture image and how they are represented to the masses. This is a huge problem because McDonald’s no longer controls the message communicated to potential costumers. As people laugh at jokes of television shows or movies there is a subtle change in their view towards McDonald’s and its characters. Over the next few years McDonald’s needs to promote the new Ronald McDonald through a series of DVDs, video games, and board games which will bring the reputation of Ronald back into the hand of McDonald’s. The new Ronald McDonald will be a positive force on Americans and therefore will need new ways to communicate with children and parents. This is one example of a Nintendo Wii game which would feature Ronald and his friends going on an adventure.



Regional Menus Different menu items based on location in U.S.

McDonald’s has 31,000 restaurants in 119 countries and serves 58 million customers per day. With this type of outreach to the public they can shape how people think about fast-food. In those 119 countries there are very big differences in the menus which favor local dishes. There is a Kosher McDonald’s in Israel and is McDonald’s meet halal standard in many of the Islamic countries. In the United States McDonald’s should start taking advantage of the system they have already set up abroad. Regional menu items which are special to the regions they are located in would create a more unique experience when traveling to a McDonald’s when on vacation or business. Regional Menus would also promote buying local to support those new menu items. This is an example of one menu from the North East region.



Website Awareness Supporting the local economies by buying local

McDonald’s encourages its employees, owners, and operators to create new products for the company. Over the years the Big Mac, Apple Pie, and Egg McMuffin have been created by people who franchise from the company. 35 This idea of thinking locally and applying it to the rest of the nation should be taken advantage of. McDonald’s has only a few suppliers who are located in various places around the United States. But all of the french fries come from Oregon and are processed in the state of Washington. McDonald’s needs to join to masses in the local food movement. McDonald’s needs to add local farmers into their supple chain. Their food would be more fresh, and would support the local economies. Using local farmers products they would be able to reduce energy consumption and costs for delivery trucks. This is a website which promotes the idea for McDonald’s to buy local and putting money back into local economies.



Signage New restaurant experience for customers

In the past going to McDonald’s used to be a treat for children and adults, families went every so often and rewarded their children. Today people go to McDonald’s all the time, some people eat there everyday or once a week. People don’t appreciate the experience anymore because they go so often. McDonald’s needs bring back the feeling of a special once every month t ype of experience to fast-food. Interesting restaurant design and experience design will need to play a part for this to change. New Signage which engages with customers and an interaction center to learn the history of the company or play educational games. This is an exmaple of new signage which will play a small part in the new experience design for restaurants.


Ronald says: Eat 2–4 servings of fruit every day

Ronald says: Exercise 30 minutes everyday

An apple a day keeps the doctor away!

Play a sport outside with your friends!

The first McDonald’s was located in San Bernadino, California. It was opened by two brothers, Richard and Maurice McDonald in 1940.


Endnotes 1

McDonald’s Videogame. La

Molleindustria. 2006. Web.


Associate Press. “Man gets Big Mac

attack —23,000 times” 10 Sept 2008.


Schlosser, Eric. Fast Food Nation. New

York: Harper Perennial, © 2001.


Super Size Me. Dir. Morgan Spurlock.

Roadside Attractions, Samuel Goldwyn 3

Pepin, Jacques. “Burger Miester Ray Kroc”.

Time Magazine Online. 7 Dec 1998. 4

“The Original McDonald’s” The Fifties

Web Index. Oct 2010. 5

Mariani, John. America Eats Out. New

York: William Morrow & Co, © 1991. 6

Martin, Andrew. “Did McDonald’s Give in

to Temptation?” New York Times Online. 22 Jul 2007. 7

Berger Sharpiro, Wendy. “The Golden

Arches Go Green: Mcdonald’s First LEED Certified Restaurant” Green Bean

Chicago. Dec 11, 2008. 8

Hall Steele, Lori. “Green Built: How the

green-building model can work for quick-serves nationwide” QSR Magazine

Online. 9 Dec 2010. 9


“Oil Opportunity” About McDonald’s.

Potatoes from 100 Circle Farms. Meet

our Suppliers. Film from McDonald’ 11

Schlosser, Eric. “Fast Food Nation: Meat

and Potatoes” Rolling Stone Magazine. Issue 794. 3 Sept 1998.

Films, Showtime Independent Films. 2004. Film. 14

“Burgernomics: Why the price of a Big

Mac may hold the key to better investment returns” The Independent. 6 Sept 2008. 15

“Burgernomics When the chips are down,

The latest Big Mac index suggests the euro is still overvalued” The Economist. 22 Jul 2010. 16

“Big Mac,” “Iceberg Lettuce,” “American

Cheese,” “Dill Pickles,” “Onions,” “Thousand Island Dressing” Caloriecount. 17

Laliberte, Kristian. “Why We’re Scared of

Happy Meals” Refinery New York Online. 26 Aug 2010. 18

Daily Mail Reporter. “Fast food, frighten-

ingly slow decay: Mother keeps McDonald’s Happy Meal for a whole year... and it STILL hasn’t gone off” Daily

Mail Online. 24 Mar 2010. 19

“Global Gladiators”, “Mac and Me”,

“McDonald’s Treasure Land Adventure”, “M.C.K Kids”, “Wacky Adventures of Ronald McDonald” Wikipedia.


“Fifteen Minutes of Shame.“ Family Guy:


Marco, Meg. “McDonald’s Advertises on

Season 2 Episode 12. Writ. Steve

Elementary School Report Cards” The

Callaghan. Dir. Scott Wood. 2000. DVD.

Consumerist Online. 6 Dec 2007.


“Petergeist.“ Family Guy: Season 4


Elliot, Staurt. “McDonald’s Ending

Episode 26. Writ. Alec Sulkin and

Promotion on Jackets of Children’s Report

Wellesley Wild. Dir. Sarah Frost. 2006.

Cards” New York Times Online. 18 Jan



Shaughnessy, Adrian. “Logorama” The Design Observer Group. 31 Jan 2010.



Bryson York, Emily. “McDonald’s Pulls

Ads from Florida Report Cards” Advertising

Age Online. 17 Jan 2008. 23

Logorama. Dir. François Alaux, Hervé de Associate Press. “CEO Calls Ronald

Crécy, Ludovic Houplain. Autour de Minuit


Productions. 2009. Film.

McDonald a ‘Force for Good’” Foxnews.

com. 21 May 2010. 24

McFuneral. College Humor Staff. 2 Oct 34

“Ronald McDonald” Wikipedia.


“McDonald’s History” Aboutmcdonalds.

Praise” QSR Magazine Online. 10 Nov


LaMolleindustria Images can be


downloaded from <http://mcvideogame.

2008. 25

“Cantalupo’s Response to Merriam

Webster’s Definition of McJobs Earns

com/press-eng.html> 26

“McJob” Merriam-Webster Dictionary



“First Corporate Restaurant in Des

Plaines, IL” and “Other Historical Images” 27

“McDonald’s Restaurants v. Morris &

Steel” Wikipedia. 38 28

Wald, Jonathan. “McDonald’s obesity suit

Georgieva, Bilyana. “McDonald’s Logo

Mania” 23 Jul 2009. Logoblink.

tossed” CNN Money Online. 17 Feb 2003.


“Snacks and Sides,” “McCafé,” “Burgers

and Sandwiches,” “Happy Meals,” “Salads” 29

Stossel, John. “McDonald’s didn’t make


them fat” 11 Oct 2006. 40

“Retire Ronald”

Images End Pages: Connolly, Christina.

Pages 34-35: La Molleindustra.

McDonald’s flow chart. 2010 (La Molleindustria. illustration3. 2006. 36)

screen1. 2006. 36

Pages 1,3: Connolly, Christina.

tion3. 2006. 36 (Black and white copy and

Evil Ronald. 2010.

text added by Christina Connolly)

Page 4: Connolly, Christina. Christina

Pages 38-39: McDonald’s.

Cartoon. 2010.

Big Mac. 2010. 39

Pages 8-9: La Molleindustria. screen12.

Page 42: McDonald’s.

2006. 36 (modified by Christina Connolly)

Happy Meal. 2010. 39

Pages 10-11: La Molledindustria.

Pages 44-45: La Molleindustra.

illustration3. 2006. 36 (Text added by

screen6. 2006. 36

Christina Connolly)

Pages 46-47: La Molledindustria. illustra-

Pages 36-37: La Molledindustria. illustra-

Pages 12-13: La Molleindustria. screen5,

tion3. 2006. 36 (Black and white copy and

screen1, screen6, screen7. 2006. Pages 14-15: McDonald’s. History photo from 1955, of Ray Kroc’s first restaurant in Des Plaines, Illinois. 37

text added by Christina Connolly)

Pages 16-17: Connolly, Christina.

Pages 52-53: La Molleindustra.

McDonald’s Logos Chart. 2010. (Logos

screen7. 2006. 36

found on Logoblink 38 )

Pages 54-55: La Molledindustria. illustra-

Page 18: Logoblink. Speedee Service

tion3. 2006. 36 (Black and white copy and


text added by Christina Connolly)



Page 48: McDonald’s. Ronald McDonald. 35 Page 49: H5. Logorama. Screenshot. 2009.23

Pages 20-21: McDonald’s. History, Black &

Page 59: Corporate Accountability

white photo of Willard Scott as the first Ronald McDonald. 37

Internation. Retire Ronald. 2010. 40

Pages 22-23: Connolly, Christina.

McDonald’s Cups. Photograph. 2010

Salad with Crispy Chicken. 2010. 39 Page 62-63: La Molleindustria. Game Over.

Pages 24-25: La Molleindustria.

Screenshot. 2006. 36

screen5. 2006.

Page 64-65: La Molledindustria. illustra-


Page 60-61: McDonald’s. Premium Caesae

Pages 26-27: La Molleindustria. illustra-

tion3. 2006. 36 (Black and white copy by

tion3. 2006. (Black and white copy and

Christina Connolly)


text added by Christina Connolly) Pages 30-31: McDonald’s. World Famous

Fries. 2010. 39 Page 32: McDonald’s. McCafé Latte and

McCafé Iced Mocha. 2010. 39


This book contains a semester long research project focusing on a topic of my choosing. I chose to concentrate on the McDonald's franchise a...


This book contains a semester long research project focusing on a topic of my choosing. I chose to concentrate on the McDonald's franchise a...