As far back as the mid-90s, the food and drink industry has used popular celebrities to peddle new menu items. The most recent addition was a brand of Oreo’s themed after Lady Gaga’s new album Chromatica.
If you haven’t had an Oreo, the contents are pretty simple; you get two chocolate cookies with some cream slapped in the middle.
These new Oreos have a pink cookie with an appetizing nuclear green filling with one side of the cookie brandishing the work ‘chromatica’, a heart or the symbol shown in the song’s music video, and the other side bearing the Oreo mark we all know. These things are selling like hotcakes at a lumberjack festival.
History is littered with other cash grabs where companies only changed one or two minor details of the same menu items they sell every day and slapped popular celebrity names on it, or, in Burger King’s case, caught footage of a young Ben Affleck at a drive-through and passed that off as promotion.
Big surprise, McDonald’s started this in 1992 with a burger called the McJordan named after basketball legend and regretful baseball player Michael Jordan.
The burger itself was nothing to write home about, consisting of a quarter pounder on a sesame bun with, and you guessed it, bacon and barbeque sauce, fries, and a drink. It retailed for $3.59 in 1992 money.
Never let it be said McDonald’s isn’t creative.
Their most recent attempt occurred when McDonald’s presented The Travis Scott Burger meal.
The meal is simple enough. The customer gets the “specialty” burger with fries and barbeque sauce with a Sprite to drink. It retailed for $6 before tax.
What makes this burger so special is they slapped bacon and barbecue sauce on a quarter pounder, which just goes to show anyone will eat poison if you just put bacon on it.
However, it’s not just McDonald’s who has ridden the shameless plug train all the way to the bank. Starbucks has thrown its green apron into the ring of celebrity promotions without even planning on doing so.
Back in 2014, music artist, Ariana Grande tweeted out a photo of her new Starbucks drink as is a prerequisite of using the internet. Her order was a cloud macchiato, a drink that just recently was discontinued by the coffee giant.
The only problem was that she called it a vegan drink which made all the health-nuts flock to it, even though it uses egg whites to create “the cloud.’ Nevertheless, in Jim Jones fashion, the masses flocked to the fancy latte, and sales skyrocketed.
In the same vein, Tik Tok’s emergence embraced the situation as a renaissance of different ways to make the same frappuccino seems to be flourishing.
In 2019 the hit Netflix show Stranger Things launched a huge campaign to promote the upcoming third season. The show collaborated with many companies like soft drink companies Coca-Cola and Baskin Robbins by refitting their standard products with a blast from the past, specifically 1985.
This advertising tactic probably won’t stop anytime soon, foreseeably when people stop wanting money, I presume.
Nevertheless, let it be known that the food you shovel into your body was endorsed by a celebrity who was paid to say it was good.