McDonald’s and you

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I was just out of college in 1993 when “Demolition Man” was released. Remember that movie? Set 40 years in the future, all personal freedoms had been removed in the interest of perfect order, and the world had become so passive that swearing was illegal. My favorite part of this movie was that all of the restaurants had become Taco Bells. Between the meager salary I commanded at my first reporting job back then and the 59-, 79- and 99-cent menus offered at the Bell, I ate there frequently. Why not a Taco Bell on every corner?

But it was just good humor. Nothing that could truly happen … even 40 years down the road.

Flash ahead just more than 10 years to today, and it seems we are eerily headed that way. It’s not so funny to me now, but I gotta admit, marketing-wise, it is brilliant.

I am figuring that sometime in the next few years McDonald’s Corp. will take over the country-that is if it can keep a healthy leader at the helm. Maybe in 2008, McDonald’s could even put up that healthy leader as its own candidate for president.

Between its new healthier kid and adult Happy Meals, its planned trial of DVD rental kiosks placed in its Denver McDonald’s stores and Wayport’s recent unveiling of the Wi-Fi World pricing model for its Wi-Fi-enabled services in McDonald’s restaurants, the fast-food giant seems poised to take over the world! Or at least bent on being all things to all people.

McDonald’s wants to bury Blockbuster by hawking DVDs. Rent a movie for $1 when you pick up your grub and return it the next day … and have some more grub. McDonald’s may have not enjoyed the negative publicity of the movie “Supersize Me,” but it is setting up the same model for its customers. They just gotta get you back in every day! Look out if they get their hands on a decent blend of coffee.

Forget the slogans of the past-forget “McDonald’s and you,” forget “McDonald’s, we love to make you smile” … now it will be “McDonald’s, we are all you need!” And if you happen to be talking about one of the McDonald’s restaurants that is housed in a Wal-Mart, that slogan is an absolute truth!

The good news for the wireless industry is at least wireless service is part of the grand scheme of McDonald’s and Wal-Mart ruling the earth. Between McDonald’s Wi-Fi and Wal-Mart’s RFID plans, all we really need is a phones-to-go kiosk next to that DVD display in the lobby. Everything will be OK.

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