Friday, July 9, 2010

Consumer Loyalty

WatchMcD's: The Rap He just melts my heartstrings when he hits on trans fat and aspartame, and I get a kick out of what he says to Ronald at the end.

So, as we were watching Super Size Me, we saw the scene of the French magazine article stating the detriments of McD's, and advising people to cut back, and McDonald's totally lashed out and said that column was uncalled for, and it dawned on me amidst all the stuff in the movie that McDonalds should probably be put out of business. Sure, they try to cater healthy and have apples for dipping in happy meals and a larger selection of salads, but we really shouldn't ("shouldn't?") have McD's. (I wasn't particularly anti-fast food except for the price until I learned about MSG this March, and now I wouldn't touch it. Learning about the McFrankennugget tips the scales, too, along with modern cow raising techniques.) Can you imagine though, after they dot the entire world to the nth degree, what it would do if all the McDonald's went empty? What a waste that would be? What an economic adjustment that would be? It would be so good though.

But, that's not what I was first thinking. At first, I turned to my husband, and I can't remember what I said but it was something like it would be so sad to boycott McDonald's, or if they went out of business. "We don't even eat there!" He reminded me. "Right!" I thought. We don't even support them in the first place. But with these corporate heads, do you kind of feel guilty wanting them to go away? The friendly Ronald McDonald? Would you feel guilty wanting McD's to disappear if you saw Ronald McDonald at the local parade driving down the street and waving at you with a friendly-shy smile?

Another story: Christmas season and my husband comes home and tells me he was at ShopKo and there was a Santa Clause there and no one in line for him. He was workless. I felt such a twinge of sadness. I was like "Oh, no, that is so sad," and I got a little emotional. I don't even like the Santa thing; I think it makes kids greedy and parents shopoholics, and there I am getting all emotional over a fictional character, and that's just the thing. A corporation has such an identity, its like a person. So, what I'm asking here, is anyone else like me a whimp when it comes to letting go of these corporate Icons? Do we have too much corporate loyalty? Is it too ingrained in us to trust the Big Business? Would we be sad if the corner grocery went out of business? What if all of Sam's club went out of business? Which would bring more grief?
Then, there's another thing. We're in ShopKo again the other day, and my daughter wants to sit and watch the video playing, and its Toy Story. Now, what kind of story line is it that we have to "feel sorry" for giving our toys to charity, and that they have feelings? I mean, its great to build emotions and empathy, but we all know the story, and its geared towards making bonds with these inatimate toys and clinging to them and bonding to them. I think bonding's great, but what is it teaching that we have to bond to the products people are selling us in the store? Are we that out of touch with human relationships? Its a twisted kind of good message that we all love, but does it make you feel that much more guilty for not treating all our "stuff" developed by Matel and Disney with such sentiment we'd cherish it like life itself instead of making real friends with real people like the neighbor across the street?

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