I’m going to be lazy this weekend. Two days’ worth of topics in one photo. This is not very original, but then it is quite Olympic. I sat here with my sister last night. We met up around the same time last month because neither of us had had a McDonald’s meal in ages. This time round, we were both in a celebratory mood. Team GB had moved up to third or fourth position on the medals chart (depending on when you were checking) and McDonald’s are giving away the traditional Olympic Coca Cola glass throughout the Olympic period (if you paid them extra).
I understand the sponsorship stuff. The business side of the Olympics. I understand those who criticise the choice of sponsors. I also understand the choice of a very very clever market player such as McDonald’s. I have nothing but admiration for the marketing strategies of the fast food giant in the UK. Over the past decade or so, it has gone through a major face lift. Engaging in community endorsements, repackaging with more environmentally friendly materials, upping its litter responsibilities, reforming the ingredients that have gone into its food. And haven’t we heard about it all.
Then to pull off the coup to end all coups. Helping with recruiting and training the Olympic volunteers successfully. (Beware of following that link, you will meet with much healthy British ranting and cynicism and comments are closed so you won’t be able to add your own retorts.) No G4S-style debacle here. Only thousands upon thousands of smiling volunteers in smart uniforms.
I am not advocating the sponsorship of the Games by fast food companies. And as for syrupy fizzy drinks, you can see that I am partial to a cup of a hot caffeinated drink with my large Cheddar Deluxe meal. However, it does not escape my attention that when a global company gets behind something, things happen with an ease that a conglomerate of local companies cannot yet achieve. We were not ready for an East London wide collaboration organised by small business. Whether that means that smaller food outlets should not have been let into the park to sell more authentic British food, I dare not say. But optimistic though we may be, I feel the truth is, it was always in the interest of McDonald’s to do a good job. That’s why the organisers could trust them to do it well. They delegated to someone who had an impressive record of delivering the goods and would not want to risk messing it all up.
I don’t want to fall into the big thorny bush of Olympic issues. I know many people have a difficult relationship with the proliferation of junk food in modern society. It’s complicated and I acknowledge that. I’m not going to enter a debate here, it’s way out of my league so please don’t start!
Last night, I just enjoyed a treat, a nice chat with my sister, and it was so lovely that I generously bought us some deep fried apple pies to enjoy with the second half of the large teas we had to buy to get our glasses. She’d swum quite a few lengths in the pool in the morning and I’d accomplished a few hauls of laundry. I feel we earned the calories! This is where I sat, and among the mess on my tray, you might spot a logo or two.
#4+5 | SOMEWHERE YOU SAT + LOGO
Incidentally, I noticed that all the McDonald’s I’ve ever visited around the world have apple pies, but each country has a slightly different take on them – what are the McDonald’s apple pies in your corner of the world like?
[If you take part in Fat Mum Slim’s photo a day challenge, let me know – I’d love to see how you get creative with the daily posts!]