Even the most dedicated cheeseburger lover might be rather surprised to discover that it can write a 265-word manifesto. Isn’t it wonderful that the land of advertising, especially the kind that McDonald’s has the money to finance, allows such miracles?
The letter from a cheeseburger (or possibly from cheese itself? Burgers aren’t the clearest writers, but it says it “contain[s] pickles, onions, and ketchup,” so we’re going to go with it being a cheeseburger named Cheese) was facilitated by long-time McDonald’s agency DDB Stockholm. Not only does this author have the incredible wherewithal to hold a pen, type on a keypad, or dictate to an attractive cheese secretary, it also has complicated feelings. Most of these feelings center around its quality of cheesiness.
It is “The cheese that makes you want to go the extra mile … the cheese that makes you want to call your cousins, the ones you haven’t called in years.” It’s the “perfect cheese” that makes you want to “write to the beautiful lost love that you never dared to talk to.” Oh, fuck you, talking hamburger. If cheese could do all that (and it can’t — cheese is great but not typically personal-epiphany great, except maybe the REALLY smelly stuff that lets you see through time), it would not be the cheese on a McDonald’s burger. That stuff is sad.
Cheese’s tone here — bratty, petulant, adolescent — brings cheese under false attack. It positions cheese as an outsider, the idea being that the person who is truly special and makes their own rules will, iconoclastically, make their way back to cheese. Of course, basically everyone on Earth loves cheese, even the lactose-intolerant, so it’s a false premise, and it’s annoying, and we don’t buy it. Dear Cheese, and, by extension, McDonald’s cheeseburgers: We don’t feel that bad for you. You are rich. You should buy us something. Something that is not you.
Angry Cheeseburger Defends Itself in 265-Word McDonald's Print Ad, Adweek.
Get Grist in your inbox