After testing it on 4/20 (hinting darkly that this might appeal to a certain late-rising, munchy-prone segment that big corporations tend to acknowledge only winkingly if at all), McDonald’s is lettin’ ’er rip and serving us as much breakfast as we can afford starting October 6th—any time, all day, every day, every hour, no whining, no back-sass, just get in here and eat what you said you wanted to eat, dammit, and stop embarrassing the largest restaurant chain which isn’t feeling so large these days because people just aren’t coming in like they used to.
I can look at this one of three ways.
PERSPECTIVE NUMBER ONE.
I like McDonald’s breakfast a lot, and am personally, secretly pleased—until I start admitting that part of what makes it special is that I got up in the morning early enough to get it, sort of achieving a personal goal, kind of. Often it’s something I choose to do with someone: a co-worker, my wife, one of the kids. A little something we share.
I do worry that it won’t be special FOR ME, not some macro-theoretical imagining of how John QSR Public will react. I’m afraid this will make the breakfast less special for me. Me personally. Old Number One. And though I might think of myself as a middlebrow cultural sort of guy, I have to admit and will admit that right now a Sausage Biscuit With Egg and Cheese (my go-to) is pretty special—definitely my preferred QSR morning breakfast choice. We’ll see if I feel the same in a year when I can get it right NOW. Or… NOW. Also: NOW. See? Not as special.
PERSPECTIVE NUMBER TWO.
Oh, no. Nothing exists in a vacuum. Now eggs are probably going to get expensive.
And what effect will this have on England and its muffins? International trade is in jeopardy! If I understand how this works.
What if Chic-fil-A, our second-choice family-got-up-today breakfast indulgence, starts loosening their breakfast hour resolve? What if I can get a Hardee’s/Carl’s Jr. breakfast biscuit anytime? Will I ever get it again? Ripples, ripples. Society is changed.
Not sure this has been thought all the way through.
Which leads us to three.
PERSPECTIVE NUMBER THREE.
This really does seem like a desperation play.
The internet consensus on the boring reaction to Burger King’s playful suggestion they crossbreed their burgers for Peace Day is that McDonald’s lost that one, adrift in a marketing life raft without a compass and nothing but empty horizons all around—unsure what their corporate voice, attitude and behavior really ought to be ever since the picky Millennials starting being catered to by every major corporation and the recession stopped giving McDonald’s the trade-down dollar and people could go wherever they wanted again.
Which is why I think the following is the best thing on the internet from this week: free advice for McDonald’s from a Simpson’s writer. It really reminds me of the advice some random internet guy gave Burger King awhile back, (which I gleefully included in my book), and in both cases, it’s a joy to see the marketing wisdom of someone who’s interested, wise, has nothing to lose, and has been presented with a platform on which he’s willing to kill about 45 minutes. (I’ll reprint the advice given McD’s by the Simpson’s writer, whose name is Bill Oakley, below, but here it is on his site if you want to make sure I screen-captured it correctly.)