Discussing
The Truth Behind McDonald's Annoying Commercial

Todd Hertz

Coryzipperle
April 14, 2010

I have fallen into this trap as well. Something I need to work on.

Melayton
April 14, 2010

I'm not sure "annoy" is the right word. It peeves me, but not for the reason you mention. I don't like that our culture has become so high-speed and high-stress that people regularly need a stimulant to function. I once did a class project that involved (among other things) going without using an alarm clock for six weeks. Which meant I had to figure out my biorhythms and go to sleep early enough that I naturally woke up at the time I needed to. It was wonderful. But when I no longer had to do it I fell back into old habits. It's so easy to get busy, to fill up the day and so need a little something "extra" to get through it all.<br><br>I think there are some people who really are not capable of being friendly etc. before they have had coffee - they are not fully themselves. This is in part their fault for lifestyle choices they've made, no doubt. But it's not like they're choosing to be mean, let alone making excuses for it. So there is a problem for me, but perhaps not the one you saw.

Jerod
April 14, 2010

My wife and I have had the same thoughts as you Todd about this commercial. We are a non-DVR household and tolerate commercials fairly well, but this one gets to us.<br><br>I think it has to with self. It's seems people are always so concerned about themselves, they don't care how that effects other people. In this commercial the guy is so eager to get himself out of his lousy mood, that he doesn't care about the people around him.<br><br>Beyond the commercial, I feel like I see the same thing all around me. People in the grocery store who are so focused on their needs, they're ignoring the people they're running into with their carts. In the parking lot, people drive crazy all because they need to get home.

Todd Hertz
April 14, 2010

Great point, Melayton. I think some of us are dependent on things (not just coffee) and that makes us less of who we really are. And I guess on a deep level, that is still a choice.

Rickd
April 14, 2010

I guess I’m not bugged by the commercial, I am mildly amused. I think what this represents is the interior monologue we all go through but rarely speak. This character is standing in for all of us and saying what we really feel. And what we feel is funny and a little sad. Its sad because we are so dependent on legal stimulants and routines. But its also funny because we are so dependent on legal stimulants and routines. Our dependence on coffee is the subject of much humor, and a lot of it pulpit humor. Notice how effusive and complimentary he is after his jolt of java. Does this sort of redeem him? This is gentle, self-deprecating humor, sharp observation and I don’t think we should beat ourselves up over the way we feel (and for the most part, grit our teeth and overcome).

Jaycee
April 14, 2010

I LOVE this: "And I do the same. All the time. How often do I let my circumstances dictate how I treat others? I might think, “I would go talk to that lonely person or show God’s love through a nice gesture…but man, I am so stressed out.”<br><br>It's easy to point out the flaw in another person, but we can commit the same crimes...just in different ways...

Sarah
April 14, 2010

Good points. Although, when I watch it, all I can think is "bad acting." I also think, if someone is that rude to a McDonald's employee, would they really respond with a laugh and a smile? Probably not all the time, but I know McDonald's corporation spends a lot of resources on training their employees to respond that way. Maybe we can bring them in to train Christians how to respond in love when we encounter people being rude...

Chris
April 14, 2010

I get the commercial girl attitude towards me about once in a dozen times whether McDonald's or not. I'm usually thrilled when I'm treated that nicely by a fast food person!

sclay82
April 14, 2010

I agree. As someone who does not drink coffee and never has, I do get annoyed by this commercial. I know there are benefits to drinking coffee and I understand people can enjoy things I don't, but I think if you get to a point where you don't want to interact with people until you've had it that you're bordering on an addiction. Just because you haven't had your coffee yet doesn't mean you should be excused for treating others poorly. I have no problem forgiving people for things like this, but they need to recognize it's a problem and not act like they can't help it.

Matt The Church Of No People
April 14, 2010

It's a safe bet this ad annoys me because McDonald's is incapable of creating an ad that doesn't annoy me!

Rich Tatum
April 15, 2010

We have a moral obligation to "be happy" (or more accurately, joyful), even when we have to "fake it" for our peers, friends, and strangers. As Dennis Prager makes the point well:<br><br>I once asked a deeply religious man if he considered himself a truly pious person. He responded that while he aspired to be one, he felt that he fell short in two areas. One of those areas, he said, was his not being a happy enough person to be considered truly pious.<br><br>His point was that unhappy religious people reflect poorly on their religion and on their Creator. He was right; in fact, unhappy religious people pose a real challenge to faith. If their faith is so impressive, why aren't these devoted adherents happy? There are only two possible reasons: either they are not practicing their faith correctly, or they are practicing their faith correctly and the religion itself is not conducive to happiness. Most outsiders assume the latter reason. Unhappy religious people should therefore think about how important being happy is—if not for themselves, then for the sake of their religion. Unhappy, let alone angry, religious people provide more persuasive arguments for atheism and secularism than do all the arguments of atheists.<br><br>(Dennis Prager, talk show host, author, columnist , Happiness Is a Serious Problem (Regan Books, 1998), p.4)

Maureenherring
April 15, 2010

I only feel a "moral obligation" to "be happy with those who are happy." Paul also said in Romans 12 that it is appropriate "to mourn with those who mourn." Without whining or being caustic to others I think it's possible to show make emotional connections to others in an authentic way. During my pre-Christian life I found empathetic, approachable Christians much more believable than those who tried to convince me that Christ made them happy all the time.

Maureenherring
April 15, 2010

Poor McDonald's man, I think the Christian thing to do is meet him at his front door with a cup of Joe. In Romans 12 Paul said to "be happy with those who are happy" and "mourn with those who mourn." I agree that angry Christians give Christ a bad rap, but I've found that a Christ who is touched by the failures and griefs of others is sometimes best communicated through empathetic tears. I consider friendliness to be honestly, genuinely, and graciously meeting people where they are. I guess I feel a "moral obligation" to be authentic.

Maureenherring
April 15, 2010

Sorry I didn't mean to post two comments. I was in process of editing the when I lost control of my keyboard....I obviously didn't have enough coffee.

Jemimaspare
April 16, 2010

I'm not sure that is right. I don't think God ever promises me that I will be happy.<br><br>Maybe joyful, but that is different, and may not come across to outsiders as 'happy'.

Jcarpenter
April 16, 2010

Are we familiar with Tony Campolo's story of sharing a cup of coffee with a homeless man? (Imagine TC's dramatic delivery of the story) It wasn't Tony's cup, it was the homeless man's cup. Not only did the man offer and insist Tony share the cup, but said "You need a hug" and proceeded to give one to Tony, not be the receiver. Tony said the shock of the experience came twice---first, the squeamishness of the unexpected reversal of the situation; second, the realization of a God moment (I think TC has 20 a day!) that he had seen Jesus face to face---<br>how often do we see ourselves as being only on the giving end, and the recipients have nothing to offer us, in our perspective? <br>Re McD's commercial: what I most respond to is the warmth and beauty of the patient smile of the young person at the counter. Does the guy see her as a blessing as much as his a.m. joe?

Rich Tatum
April 16, 2010

In the context of Prager's book, it's clear that joy is the view here, not whatever "happy" means to most people. Same as in the beattitudes: "Happy are they .…"

Rich Tatum
April 16, 2010

"Happiness" gets a bad rap because the word and its underlying concept have become cheapened. That's why I tend to prefer "joy" in most contexts, but I still think Prager's quote (and book) is worth a read.<br><br>Think of happiness as living in light of your good fortune. Blessedness. Your life's prosperity. If you, like Paul, have learned to be content in every circumstance, you are living in the light of your good fortune, your good hap. (Thus, you are "hap"py.) You can mourn while still being content with your situation. You can be in pain, and still be content. The content, or happiness, comes from a fundamental bedrock of one's worldview and faith — NOT from a transitory emotion.<br><br>And that's Prager's (and my) point. And yours, as well, I think.

Rich Tatum
April 16, 2010

I agree, Maureen, we do have a moral obligation to be authentic — as opposed to deceitful. But if I am angry, am I morally obligated to express my anger? If I feel vengeful, am I morally obligated to work vengeance? That would be, at least, authentic. If I feel lustful, wouldn't seeking release be authentic, and therefore, moral?<br><br>On the other hand, if recognizing the providence of God and resting in the contentment of that good fortune is a higher priority, then perhaps I should re-evaluate my anger in light of God's provision and commandment for peace? Perhaps I should re-evaluate my thirst for vengeance in light of God's provision for justice? Perhaps I should evaluate my base desires in light of God's provision for pleasure properly expressed and for the opportunity to exercise discipline in the meantime.<br><br>In other words, recognizing my good fortune (my hap) and embracing the joy (my happiness) of it, is a greater moral duty than simply being authentic. How much better to be authentically joyful than authentically miserable.

Todd Hertz
April 16, 2010

Sarah: I agree. Bad acting totally contributes to the irritation...

Maureenherring
April 16, 2010

Thanks for the reply, Rich. I'll definitely check out the book you recommended. The world certainly needs an infusion of authentic joy and grace, I didn't mean to suggest otherwise. <br><br>I certainly didn't mean to imply that expressing lust, vengeance, or anger are legitimate forms of authenticity. I think authenticity comes when we can be transparent as we experience God's transforming grace. When we are angry, we love; when we feel lustful, we seek purity; when we feel vengeful, we forgive. Sometimes that's hard to do and I think it's okay for the people around us to know that. Authenticity creates an environment in which others feel safe enough to be honest about those things too. I think authentic joy happens when we embrace the nature of Christ and let go of sin. Part of that process is confessing it and dealing with it before God. <br><br>Before I became a Christian I encountered lots of "perfect" Christians who made a relationship with Christ seem kind of Stepford. They pretty much promised that "after you're saved you won't have any more problems, Jesus takes away the desire to sin, gives you money, and clears up your face." I accepted the truth of the crucifixion and resurrection in spite of these people, not because of them. Maybe the "happy" thing just set off some old memory tapes. <br><br>Keep smiling.

Rich Tatum
April 16, 2010

What? You have zits?<br><br>Pagan.<br><br>:: grin ::<br><br>I agree with you. Stepford Christianity is worse than genuine atheism.<br><br>Rich<br><a href="http://tatumweb.com/blog/" rel="nofollow">BlogRodent</a>

Gigi
April 17, 2010

Please do not make more of this than it is... it's relatable, that's it. Your message is good/right, but, In my opinion, you're alienating people with this article. Stop! - - In actuality you're ruining the potential to make a difference. I'm glad YOU got all of this out of it, but just leave it alone.

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