Back in the day I used to read games magazines instead of writing for them. There was this advertisement. Don’t tell me advertising doesn’t work. Don’t tell me you’re not influenced by advertising, because goddammit this ad is like 12 years old and its emblazoned in my being like a sub-par tattoo.
I’ll never forget it.
The ad was very simple and direct. A Big Mac. A photo of a Big Mac. Just a Big Mag. Not a real Big Mac, drenched in that god-awful sauce with wilted lettuce and a gherkin nobody wants to eat.
No, the Big Mac of your dreams.
The perfect shot. Glorious. Hi-res, colourful, intense. I’ve never been so influenced by an ad in my life. I saw that ad, I drove to the nearest McDonalds, bought that Big Mac and wolfed it down like the Manchurian Candidate. I still took out the gherkin though.
That’s one end of the spectrum.
Fast forward to 2017. The opposite, shitty end of that spectrum.
Everyone's been in a brainstorming session that spits out results like this pic.twitter.com/5glTohzd3N
— Ketan Joshi (@KetanJ0) June 14, 2017
“IF STEAK WAS A DRINK”
If steak… was a drink.
Let’s ponder this for a second. Let that messaging ‘sink in’.
A couple of things to parse here. First off the name of the drink is ‘Maximus’. I had to google this because, despite driving past this billboard a thousand times, I had no idea what the drink was called.
Maximus. Clearly one of those gendered drinks, a step below that messed up “It’s not for girls” campaign Yorkie had in the UK but in that ballpark. Men eat steak right? Men like Gladiators and shit.
MAXIMUS. IF STEAK WAS A DRINK
[Tim Allen grunt]
Look, that’s bothersome, weird and kinda sexist, but far be it for me to contest a BRAND’S constitutional right to market to its KEY DEMOGRAPHIC. The creators of MAXIMUS think men will enjoy this drink. They’re trying to corner that MALE CHOCOLATE MILK section of the market. Go for gold boys. Live your life.
No, that’s not my problem. I mean it’s one of my problems, but it’s not the problem.
Jesus Christ there are so many problems. There’s the fact I could only remember the shitty ad, not the product. There’s the fact that 40 grams of protein is literally a fucking waste of calories if you want to maintain or build muscle (most research suggests 20 grams is the sweet spot and any more isn’t beneficial).
No. None of these are real problems. The real problem is as clear as day. Crystal clear even. Clear as a bell.
No-one wants to drink a fucking steak.
Scenario #1. You have a steak in front of you. It’s delicious. It’s medium rare, it’s succulent. It’s got that sauce you like, pepper, garlic whatever. You cut into it with that steak knife. Aw shit, it’s tender, cooked to your exact specification. You bit into it. Inhale. Perfection
Scenario #2. You chunk that lump of flesh into a food processor, hit blend and drink that fucker.
No. God no. I do not want to drink a steak. I don’t even want to think about drinking a steak. The thought is making me nauseous. And now I don't want to drink chocolate milk either.
Congratulations Maximus. You did the impossible. You ruined chocolate milk.