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This Story is a Kroc

Before a brand can become a brand that everyone knows and loves, it needs something:

A founder.

Everybody knows about McDonald’s. Most people are probably aware of the name Ray Kroc and his association with McDonald’s. However, very few people likely know the incredible story of how a fast food joint became a global phenomenon.

Just as The Social Network is a film that highlights the brilliant happenstance of American ingenuity, so may The Founder. A trailer was just released for the new year with Michael Keaton starring as Ray Kroc, who is, you guessed it…

Building and managing a company is a complex undertaking inherent with infinite challenges (seen and unforeseen) that’s never as easy as people may imagine, despite a speedy drive-thru. Ensuring that all the moving pieces are functioning properly and are accounted for is akin to clockwork: Even one small malfunction can potentially jeopardize the entire operation. Back when McDonald’s was introducing its burgers and fries to the American public during the mid-1950s, there were probably as many reasons why this new restaurant should succeed as there were to why it should fail.

Someone needs to be a leader and determine how to transform a vision into a successful reality. The Founder looks like an entertaining true story with fascinating insight into how fast food (and even entire cultures) were changed forever by way of a daring American Dream.

I’ve gotta say…I’m lovin’ it so far.

Was McDonald’s Always Lovin’ It?

McDonald’s makes the best french fries in the world. Reaching into the bag or sitting under the golden arches and taking that first salty bite is a serene experience.

Have you ever wondered how this perfect encapsulation (and magnetism) of fast food deliciousness came to be?

The story of this revolutionary fast food restaurant highlights how an idea took off and never looked back. After visiting McDonald’s #1 courtesy of Ray Kroc outside Chicago in Des Plaines, Illinois and Hamburger University in Oak Brook, Illinois, the history of McDonald’s came alive. This is not simply a family-friendly restaurant chain, but something much more. There’s an “it” factor.

I even have an authentic Hamburger U flag to prove it!

Arriving in theaters this August, Ray Kroc’s drive and ambition can be seen as Michael Keaton, Laura Dern and Nick Offerman star in The Founder that illustrates the saga of how we’ve all come to love McDonald’s. But first, let’s see how Mr. Kroc and the McDonald brothers cleaned the grease stains that appear to have put the now multi-billion franchise in some early jeopardy.

Even if you are not a fan of McDonald’s or fast food, Ray Kroc changed the way millions upon millions of people around the world (yes, you and me) eat not just on a daily basis, but on a meal-meal and snack-to-meal basis.

Speaking of which, I wonder if there’s some golden arches near by?

Just kidding! Of course there are.

McDonald’s even has a monopoly on fast food jokes.

I’m Lovin’ 10:30 Again

“McDonald’s has given us so much. We wouldn’t know when breakfast ends if there was no McDonald’s…Thank you McDonald’s.”
–Jim Gaffigan

Starting today, McDonald’s is giving us the unthinkable in 2015. In short, breakfast norms be damned!

After years of requests and frustration over the pesky 10:30 a.m. barrier that separates us from amazing hash browns and the impossibly delicious french fries, executives at the McDonald’s headquarters are finally releasing the most anticipated toy for their consumers.

Breakfast foods will now be offered all-day long.

To say this is a cultural revolution is both foolish and completely accurate. As is customary in revolutions, consequences will surely follow after the initial glows of success. For instance, longer lines in the drive-thru and inside the restaurant will almost surely happen. Our “usual” go-to meal in the afternoon is being directly challenged by our morning routine. This will cause an initial delay in the “fast part” of fast food.

An Egg McMuffin v. The Premium Buttermilk Crispy Chicken Deluxe Sandwich? Filet-O-Fish v. Fruit & Maple Oatmeal? Hash Browns v. French Fries?

For the latter, here’s the mind-blowing solution: One Hash Brown and a Small Fry.

Boom! Success.

Most importantly, we will never have to experience this hardship again…

If McDonald’s marketing department wanted this campaign to go crazy viral, they would have focused on that memorable video clip that we can all relate to in some way. They could have bought the rights to use that exact clip or, better yet, they should have hired Adam Sandler to re-shoot that scene with a different, happier (but still funny) outcome and a clever tie-in/cameos from the original movie.

That would have been brilliant.

The best marketing and advertising tells a story and in the age of social media, pop culture/comedy icons and ’90s nostalgia, incorporating that scene from the 1999 film Big Daddy would have turned a promotion to the consumer into something we would connect with and share with our friends and family (consumers) voluntarily with excitement that goes beyond ordering food.

Talk about a happy meal.

Happy Monday!

The 2014 World Cup will surely kick-off with extravagant festivities and fanfare for the opening match between the host-nation Brazil and Croatia this Thursday at 4:00 p.m. ET. Four years after Spain lifted the greatest trophy in all of sports, the time has finally arrived to once again put on jerseys, t-shirts, flags and scarves with our nation’s colors, cheer on our favorite teams and players and witness the best soccer the world has to offer.

In an effort to promote this wondrous occasion, McDonald’s selected a few unsuspecting soccer savants to film who demonstrate some serious skills in everyday locations.

The beautiful game indeed.

Happy Monday!