McDonald’s announced today it is trialling a new offering, the Disillusioned Meal, according to Executive Vice President Lucianna Fairhurst.
Fairhurst explained that while patterned after the Happy Meal, designed for children who are presumed to have their whole lives ahead of them with unbounded possibilities, the Disillusioned Meal is aimed at precisely the opposite demographic.
“We’re talking about the individual whose hopes and dreams have been beaten out of them by the cruel realities of life. Those people don’t want to be confronted with bright cheery colours and healthy food; they need marketing that speaks to their existence and a food offering that supplies precisely the right nutrition for their stage in life. Fats. Carbohydrates. Alcohol”, she explained.
“We’ve recognised a gap in the market. Until now, that segment of the population who’ve fundamentally given up and just don’t care anymore have been largely ignored. Today that changes and those people are finally getting the recognition they deserve. Probably for the first and last time in their life”, she added.
McDonald’s conducted extensive focus-group testing before finally deciding the content and design of the Disillusioned Meal. Packaged in a drab carton emblazoned with “What’s the use?”, the Disillusioned Meal contains a Big Mac, Large Fries, the customer’s choice of miniature liquor, and a broken Bic ballpoint pen carrying the Golden Arches logo.
“In tandem with the Disillusioned Meal, we’re introducing a new way for diners to enjoy McDonald’s products, the Trudge Thru line. We see this as a way of reaching out to those who’ve had their car repossessed but lack the self-confidence to actually enter the restaurant.”
Fairhust went on to explain that Trudge Thru line cashiers would accept a wide variety of payment not usually considered legal tender, with no questions asked. “They’ll take the last remaining fuzzy one-cent pieces from under your broken couch or your grandmother’s wedding ring. They won’t judge”, she said.
“And we’re giving them their own mascot.” She explained that in the McDonalds’ universe, Raddled McDonald is Ronald’s dead-beat uncle, with wrinkles, a beer belly, almost no hair, a smoker’s cough, conspicuous needle tracks down both arms, and wearing a stained costume. “We’d like to think Raddled is a non-confronting personality these diners can identify with” said Fairhurst.
The Disillusioned Meal will initially be available only at selected restaurants. McDonald’s is trialling two locations, Detroit, Michigan and Hamilton, New Zealand.