Ronald McDonald rings opening bell on Wall St., then threatens to cut insurance for 30K workers

These two items appeared in rapid succession in my Twitter feed:

screen-shot-2010-03-17-at-12403-pm2 9:26 AM — @CNNLive ‘Ronald McDonald’ rings Wall Street opening bell. Live: http://on.cnn.com/cnndcl2

9:29 AM — @WSJ McDonald’s says it may drop health insurance for nearly 30,000 workers unless a new requirement is waived http://on.wsj.com/acZl03

 

In case you are wondering, you can follow me on Twitter at CurseYouKhan.

 

Image is from Logorama, which won the Oscar last year for best short animation.

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Top 10 Marketing Blunders of 2008

Yeah, there’s a lot more than 10 here. What can I say? It was a very good year for very bad things.

(PS: If you liked this would you mind going here and voting for it on Digg?)

GRAND PRIZE FOR SUSTAINED ORGANIZATIONAL EFFORT

(tie)

The John McCain Presidential Campaign

  • “Our economy, I think, is still — the fundamentals of our economy are strong.”
  • Has no idea how many houses he (or his wife) owns.
  • Picks Sara Palin, the Broad to Nowhere who couldn’t find Russia or Africa on a map.
  • Campaign adviser and former HP CEO Carly Fiorina says Palin couldn’t run a major corporation.
  • Campaign adviser and former senator Phil Gramm says Americans are whiners about economic problems.
  • “Shutting down” his campaign to fix the bailout.
  • “Lipstick on a pig”
  • Egregious attack on Dungeons & Dragons that clearly cost him the election. (OK, maybe not so much the last one).

GM

Runners Up

  1. Ford features “Space Oddity” — a song about astronaut suicide — in new car campaign.
  2. Framingham State College  uses the word blah 137 times in a 312-word fundraising letter.
  3. Disney (multiple entries): Bans kids from DisneyWorld restaurant; Changes “It’s A Small World” to “A Salute to All Nations, But Mostly America; and Sells “High School Musical” panties for tween girls with the phrase “Dive In” on them.
  4. Woolworths (UK) launches Lolita brand of beds for young girl
  5. JetBlue lives up to Southwest’s parody ad by charging for pillows.
  6. Russia uses smiling kids in tourism ad for war zone
  7. Residents of Lesbos sue those other lesbians over brand name
  8. Motrin gets headache from viral moms video
  9. Butcher’s ads feature “Meat Products, Fresh Service” on naked woman
  10. Hershey asks if you’ve found Mr. Goodbar

Special Jury Awards

Co-Branding That Shouldn’t Have Been

The Alpha & Omega of Over-reaching

Product Failure

The Penguins Of Irony “Oh NO You Din’t” Awards

Previous years’ lists

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“Credit Crunch” candy and other bright spots from the crisis

Press release of the day: “McDonald’s Enters the Catering Business … to the LGBT Community”

McDonald’s response should be clear and unequivocal: “Everyone’s welcome to eat our food-like products but we want everyone to understand this: WE DON’T DO BRUNCH.”

On one hand, McDonald’s foray into corporate support of the Lesbian, Gay, Homosexual and Transgendered (LGBT) community is getting rave reviews from the folks at The National Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce (NGLCC). The McDonald’s Corporation paid $20,000 to become a member of NGLCC and have a seat on the board of directors.  Richard Ellis, McDonald’s USA vice president of communications was “thrilled” to join the chamber and stated that he “shares the NGLCC’s passion” for business growth and development in the LGBT community.

On the other hand, this foray has sparked the ire of groups such as the American Family Association (AFA) who is currently calling for a boycott of McDonald’s – until they remain neutral in the culture war.  Another company, the Timothy Plan Family of mutual funds handles McDonald’s pro-homosexual activism in a uniquely different fashion.  This fund family refuses to invest in McDonald’s because of the fact that they are promoting, what the fund calls, Non-Traditional Married Lifestyles.

I have no doubt this will be every bit as successful as the AFA boycott of Disney. During said boycott I believe (and I’m totally making this number up) Disney tripled in value.

The wonderful world of brand mashups

A great Brazillian graphic designer named Mario Amaya has taken a few of favorite brands and run them into each other at top speed. See some of the efforts below and see more here. His blog, Following Is For Cattle, makes me wish I’d paid attention when the Providence public school system was trying to teach me Portuguese.

What do Ray Kroc & Martin Luther King Jr. have in common?

From Open for Discussion, McDonald’s corporate responsibility blog:

In my remarks, I mentioned that the founder of McDonald’s, Ray Kroc, and Dr. King both demonstrated persistence and determination through their care for others and the sharing of the beliefs that shaped their philosophies.

And fries. They both liked french fries.

That quote is so wonderfully vague that it is all-encompassing. You could substitute anyone’s name for Kroc’s in that sentence and still have it be true.

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Would you like a diploma with that? McDonalds now serving course credits

McDThe UK government has given Ronald & Co. “the right to award credits toward a high school diploma to employees who complete on-the-job training programs.”

McDonald’s employees will initially be offered a “basic shift manager” course to train staff in everything they need to know to run a McDonald’s outlet — from hygiene to customer service.

No word on the report as to whether McD’s or railroad operator Network Rail and low-cost airline Flybe — which were also given the right to award credits — will be reimbursed by the government for this.

The plan has been dubbed McQualifications, by its foes. So now you be McQualified for your McJob.

And, before those of us on this side of the pond get too snooty about the Brits:

In the United States, McDonald’s offers courses in restaurant management that can be transferred for credit at traditional colleges and universities through its training facility, Hamburger University.

I want an athletic scholarship to HU.

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