Saturday, February 19, 2011

McDonalds & Greenpeace?

Ask a Sustainability Community Member or anyone else for that matter about their sincere perception of the McDonalds Corporation.  Then stand far, far back for the response. What comes to mind immediately is not social responsibility, animal welfare, recycling, energy conservation, composting.  We remain shocked by the film images of the documentary Super Size Me, docu-drama of Fast Food Nation and volumes of waste associated with the fast food industry.

Following the Sustainability Community, braced for the worst I entered the McDonalds Global Web Sites.  McDonalds promotional landing page the expected feature - A Big Juicy Specialty Hamburger, Chipotle BBQ Bacon Angus to be precise.  The delicious burger set back on a backdrop colored warm and dripping BBQ colored sauce with bold yellow text lettering. Colors suggest the familiar, juxaposed the unexpected and exciting.  I am emotionally attached this burger experience.  Through my passion and emotions, pathos communicates I will have an uncommon experience with this burger.

Unrelenting, the caption reads: Angus Axiom #38: in bold statement : "Chipotle is here for a good time, not a long time".  The radio button begs me to SEIZE THE BOLD. Bold moves and big moment in life like this item requires an action - Get this burger [NOW].  The right moment or the opportune moment, my kairos, my burger relationship is beginning and certain to end.

Accordingly, McDonald's axiom employs the logos methodology: a rational proposition. While not proven, the axiom communicates a consideration self evidence or subject to necessary decision. The Logos takes precedence, the rational appellation or logical persuasion: Don't take the promotion for "Taken for Granted"- don't miss out!

Axiom #71: "Those who seize the moment take the bold" - the statement endows me with a experience because we are endowed with the luck or fortune to have such an experience.  As fleeting as the message, Axiom # 95 "Don't blink of you will miss the bold" - intermittently cycles through to punctuate the temporal nature of the message.  The site is truly a masterful interpretation of immediate gratification.  Because the message is fleeting. It is deemed worthy of our attention due to the decisive move ahead.

The emotional meets the scientific explanation: "A taste this bold demands 5 senses" indicates a rationale for the demanding taste.  Upon capitulation, I am further enticed by the use of the logical human interfaces - 5 senses. See. Smell. Touch. Taste. Hear.  Each caption explanatory - why I am logically passionate about the burger experience. Ambient music, layers the sensation which is an unequivocal "Wow".

The promotional site is a demonstrative hardcore product sell.  Forget about the rest [of time]. I am in the moment because I got mine now [everything else will take care of itself].  For the Sustainability Community, who is focused on the future this does nothing.  Yeah the burger looks hot and now.  But what about my future? McDonalds hasn't addressed this need in the immediate marketing of the product.

The future is another issue, McDonalds communication and methodology chooses an all together separate communication form of address.  On December 21, 1989, McDonald's was facing heavy scrutiny due to it's use of polystyrene products.  The Environmental Defense Fund considered taking action.  EDF director Fred Krupp and McDonalds CEO Jack Greenberg forged a groundbreaking alliance.  Kairos evident, the new dimensions in the public corporate sector encouraged a cooperative approach to environmental problem solving.

Ultimately, McDonalds has a corporate responsibility to it's shareholders. The guiding beliefs ideals or ethos, 'Doing well by doing good' was not a stretch for McDonalds.  McDonald's foundation grounds on this reiterative process. The foundation revealed opportunities for McDonalds to incorporate the use of a Triple Bottom Line. People, Planet and Profits is a motto for the Corporate Social Responsibility business model.  It incorporates the inclusion of public interests in the decision making process.

The Muthos or  McDonalds story has incorporated sustainability component of the website is listed under "Our Story".  McDonalds chooses to incorporate Values In Action. First glimpse of the page is a photo of smiling children with a sparkle of sunlight.  The photo is a hopeful and full of optimism, smiling children looking forward.  The web page is organized in a stacking methodology suggesting the solid foundation for the values and issues addressed.  Founder Ray Kroc quotation appears in red- "None of us is as good as all of us".

The balanced heading declares McDonald's position with regards to the "right" process, "right" reason with "right" action dues to the McDonald's scale business. The reiterative process is further iterated through repetition of language- RIGHT, RIGHT, GOOD, GOOD. And who can doubt it - ethos right is good, logic good is right. Further by acknowledging unorthodox nature of the partnerships with NGOs like the Conservation International and Greenpeace, the site offers a more comprehensive link to the Corporate Responsibility Report. The validity of the claims are further documented and researched in an annual  report - evidence that supports the kiaros statement, claim and document that upholds McDonalds effort for the sustainability effort.

The building blocks are again used through the stacking concerns:
  • The Road to Sustainability- Benchmark, scorecard effort & double benefice "green" standard
  • Greener than Ever- Building & physical structure, consumer experience
  • Renew, Recycle - Waste cycle
  • Animal Welfare - Ethical animal treatment
McDonalds, much like Walmart, has a behemoth scaled impact.  The environmental impacts may not be overt. The cautious efforts is in the works and the data and benchmarks are proof.  To see the future  McDonalds, the French website may hold the key.

While the two approaches are valid.  They hold different messages and approaches.  However, the one commonality, like the latest advertisement message Burger Now, McDonald's Road to Sustainability is now.  The difference, it is not a temporary promotion.  McDonald's is in it for the duration.

1 comment:

  1. You have exposed a "new" side of McDonald's to many of us - and a surprising angle, considering that you are approaching it with the eyes of the Sustainability Community.