McDonald's desecrates the family dinner

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Utterly revolting, a McDonald's radio spot I heard yesterday foreshadows an all-family dinner which Junior doesn't text, Billy doesn't play video games, and Dad doesn't watch sports. It's as home-homey-home as Laurie David and other sages of the dining room would want it, right? But then comes the punchline: "Wait, we're having it at McDonald's?"

It's just another (super-annoying) example of how advertisers misdirect: Find something good that can be remotely connected with your product, and slyly spread that aura until, presto, your product is good.

In this case, I have no doubt that dinners together, as a regular family touchstone, are a powerful force for good on multiple levels. In our house, we started Friday Night Dinner as a ritual more than a year ago, before our son was old enough to be awake at dinner time, but now, at 2 1/2, he's already joining us. I don't want to pontificate about what we'll do in the future because we're not there yet, and I know many families encounter obstacles in a very scheduled existence.

Additionally, I suppose that daily family dinners in a McDonald's would be better than daily McDonald's-supplied dinners eaten apart.

But raise your hand if you think dining daily at McDonald's is good. (Not so far, CCF: You lost your credbility the you were born.)

The usual examples of the phenomenon are "one third less fat," or whatever, where the advertiser fails to mention that it's one third less than it used to be, but the product still has significant fat and has added sugar to keep it from tasting like cardboard. Improvement, perhaps, but from what?

"Improved" does not equal "good." And, good gracious, neither does a steady diet of McDonald's.

Resource: The Family Dining Project

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