Be Happy campaign makes me very unhappy

be happy billboard

McDonalds blatant attempt to hijack your subconscious associations

“You want the very best for your kids, and so do we.”

McDonalds is a large corporation. They care about profits. That is the system we have created. I am sure there are plenty of employees at McDonalds who actually do care about health, but man it makes me sad to see their happy meal marketing.

You take a peak at the options and get to see:

“A delicious cheeseburger with kids sized world famous fries, apple slices and your choice of fat free chocolate milk, low fat white milk or apple juice.”

The irony is that this is meant to be healthy! This isn’t just the Super Size Me menu. If you believe in the notion that at least some of us are carbohydrate resistant then you look at that menu of options in disgust:

— Bun: carbs and wheat…. and not exactly ezekiel bread

— Fries: carbs, and how about all of the oil and preservatives etc?

— Apple slices: Ok….. apples are a fairly low carb fruit, and at least you get fibre with the sugar, but still more carbs and sugar added to the carbs

— Fat free milk == sugar sugar sugar (full fat milk is better!)

— Apple juice == sugar sugar sugar (without the fibre even)

— Meat: some protein…. but how processed is McDonalds meat? Are we talking organic grass fed here? Er….

— Cheese: keep dairy small, and I am sure this isn’t processed cheese :/

The billboard

I keep driving past the billboard that is at the top of this post, and it makes me sad. I happened to have recently read Predictably Irrational, Buddha’s Brain, Thinking, Fast and Slow among other texts that really show how the oldest parts of the brain do so much for us, and how they can be easily tricked.

The McDonalds trick of tying happiness sentiments to their food is the oldest in the book, and MY is it direct. The advertisement cleanly throws my brain a montage of:

– Their brand

– The happy meal box

– A smile

– I’m loving it (you can’t not read words, so you are saying that you love this in your mind!!!)

– Using the word “Be” and the smile to create a “Be happy” association. Even the word “Be” pisses me off. As I explore meditation I am trying hard to “be”, and I don’t want to “be” that! 🙂

I started to feel so pissed about it that I actively stare at the billboard, put a growl on my face, and think bad thoughts as I try to associate bad things with that world. This seems like I am going a little crazy, but I think I was extra sensitive due to the story that a friend told me about how he put on a slew of weight (after losing a ton):

“One friend told me his story, where he had lost 90 pounds and put 50 back on. I had to ask what caused the reversal, as I wanted to learn from that. He said that one day he moved house, and after a tiring day of moving boxes he stopped in at McDonalds. Fast forward a month later and he had gone there pretty much every day. It is that easy. I am so glad that he passed that on as it helps me be mindful of the long path ahead.”

The more I think about this, the more I wonder if we will ever regulate this type of information and hijacking of the brain. Where does the rabbit hole go.

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