I wrote this on October 8th while I was very angry at McDonald's recent shenanigans revolving around a promotion. This also references the mass-shooting in Las Vegas. Remember that? It took a while, didn't it? Well, that's kind of the point!
I figured my rage has calmed down. I know this is now kind of dated, but I'm less attached to the subject now, and in the wake of the truck running over people in Manhattan, I might as well post this anyways.
Decades from now, there will be lectures and TED Talks about the genius marketing of McDonald's. After the a free humongous PR and promotion wrapped itself up with a little bow on top, The Szechuan Sauce was packaged 20 packs to maybe 1% of locations. A few months after the riots and fuming hate wore down, McDonald's re-released the sauce packets and tweeted an "Oopsie-daisies" and their stock rose huge numbers and everything was forgiven.
They're going to hail it as genius marketing because they only see dollar signs.
forget "Corporate greed". This is Evil. So Evil a scheme, that I would almost equate it to what happened in Las Vegs.
I know, that'll piss off droves, assuming more than three people read this, but seriously. think about it.
Obviously a loss of a single life is worse than any amount of fucking sauce packets. But I'm talking about down the line. What will occur as a result of Las Vegas? Nothing! I promise, the only thing close to resembling an "action to prevent gun violence" will be a bill that says "Hotel windows above 10 stories must be barred".
What will happen when McDonald's inevitably releases the rest of the Szechuan Sauce packets that were promised to (at least) hundreds of thousands of fans? What. Are fans going to continue "boycotting" them? No, because like it or not, it's the only source of official Szechuan Sauce mentioned in Rick & Morty.
McDonald's will release it, now that even more free publicity has been generated, and everyone will be happy again, and the vacuum caused by this will attract possibly millions of customers, resulting in McDonald's making millions of dollars off of America's frustration and anger.
A few months from now, we won't remember the anger we've experienced by being lied to by McDonald's refusal to act responsibly and supply enough sauce packets. Likewise, we'll forget all about the anger we've experienced by the U.S. Government's refusal to act responsibly and outlaw automatic weapons, semi-automatic weapons, and require full background checks to potential gun owners...etc.
What I'm afraid of is that this will start a trend. A trend where big companies will promise things to the masses, then choke them in their moneygrubbing hands, confusing necks for wads of cash. McDonald's is the STANDARD for efficiency. Whatever they do, everyone copies. Happy Meal toys, a Cafe, spokesperson pedophiles. Even if Burger King had the crowns first, or the Cafe was to compete with Starbucks, who perfected it? Who's the bigger pedophile? Subway's Jared or Ronald McDonald?
(Obviously, the correct answer is that Jack in the Box fucker!)
The point is that I'm afraid that more companies will do this. Imagine when the new iPhone comes out, they only have 20 per Apple Store. And employees seem to not know what it even is? Who do you blame for the riots that ensue? The masses who always ALWAYS riot when they are lied to and angry, or the EVIL COMPANY that promoted it and lied about where to find them and which locations are in stock?
Or, for the dramatic: who do you blame for massacres? the EVIL MAN that shot hundreds of automatic bullets into a large crowd of people? Or the people for huddling in a very attractive easy-to-mow-down crowd?
Nintendo is already a company that has been doing this with their SNES Classic consoles and Amiibos. Undersupplying a product to produce an artificial "scarcity", causing an inflation in the demand for it. Scalpers then sell the few products for exorbitent amounts of money. You'll find dipping sauce packets on ebay for THOUSANDS OF DOLLARS!!!
Which is more artificial: the scarcity in the amount of sauce packets distributed, or whatever McDonald's passes on as "meat" in their McNuggets?
Every Black Friday, people get TRAMPLED TO DEATH over artificial scarcity in day-only deals and limited stock. Yet, the companies are NEVER HELD RESPONSIBLE!
Lego tried this with "Mr. Gold". Only 5,000 were made. People were greedy and scalped them. Almost no one who wanted one got one. My guess is only 100 children got the children's toy made for children. Being a company with a heart, The Lego Group has since left the unnecessary "exclusives" to comic cons, where it's begrudgingly accepted because everyone else does it, they might as well too. Lego now tries to prevent super rarities like Mr. Gold to be unobtainable and cause upset among fans. Though Lego sets are still being scalped, Lego typically re-releases updated older sets, which is as happy a medium as you can get, I suppose.
There's an episode of South Park that aired on July 25, 2001, called "Cartmanland". Cartman inherits a million dollars. He buys a theme park solely so that he could enjoy the park without all the lines. He soon learns that he needs to hire a few people to run the park, so he allows just enough people admission to pay the workers. As time goes by, he needs to hire more and more workers, forcing him to allow more and more customers. People line up at the gates to see how many of them will get to enjoy a vary spacious theme park each day. Eventually, companies catch wind of this and employ Cartman's "marketing ploy".
The episode ends where in order to run the park, Cartman is forced to allow so many people into his park, that long lines and crowds gather everywhere, and Cartman is fed up, sells the park, loses everything, and gets pepper-sprayed.
McDonald's has just employed the tactics of an (albeit fictional) greedy, evil, antisemitic, white supremacist, intolerant, misogynistic murderer sociopath. "Sorry" isn't going to cut it.
I mean, let's face it; it will. It shouldn't; but it will. And we'll have another massacre. And another area of natural disasters unaided. And another Black Friday trampling. And another massively irresponsible promotion. All preying on large crowds of helpless people.
The worst thing to do is to piss off a large group of people. It's how kings got overthrown, it's why workers strike, it's why actors get thrown out of Hollywood, and it's a built in check and balance to human nature. It keeps people from doing bad things, more than the fear of God. When a corporation or government or any organization person gets so big that pissing off masses of people means no damage to them, then they are too powerful and should be taken down. And the reason they don't is the problem with Capitalism.
So excuse me, if I prefer to stay inside with my Lego where I'm safe and can imagine a better place than here.
As predicted, this is what McDonald's had to say the next day:
Friends!? No! Friends don't lie, cheat, and exploit friends!
A more in-depth look at Nintendo that I referred to: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cRicuKHmjZA
The plot of the South Park episode I referred to: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cartmanland