Have You Had Your “McGangBang” Today?

March 24, 2009 at 2:31 pm 2 comments

mcgangbang-flickr42

It’s a simple recipe for a thoroughly unwholesome meal: one McChicken sandwich placed between a Double Cheeseburger’s two patties, both ordered off McDonald’s popular Dollar Menu for a grand total of $2.16. Crudely christened the “McGangBang” by Daytona Beach customers in 2006, the sandwich has steadily earned a voracious following. Today, McDonald’s diners consume the McGangBang both online and off, ordering the absurd sandwich from befuddled employees, while documenting their experiences via Flickr, YouTube and, dare I say, even Twitter. And yet, the way McDonald’s opts to address this public relations pickle will prove to be even more interesting than how their customers are customizing the dollar sandwiches.

To date, the company has issued a single statement on the McGangBang, using a typical smile, deflect and evade approach:

“McDonald’s loves to hear from our valued guests, especially when they customize and create meal combinations to fit their personal taste preferences – no matter how unique! Whether it’s requesting an Egg McMuffin without cheese or a Big Mac with extra secret sauce, McDonald’s is proud to satisfy our customers’ requests and provide them with a variety of great-tasting meals every time they visit our restaurants.”

Is it just me or is ordering a sandwich named after a group sex act slightly different than asking for “an Egg McMuffin without cheese?” (Unless I’m unaware of some naughty new move!)

Oddly enough, I first heard of the McGangBang the same day that I watched a young boy on YouTube teach the world “How To Smoke Smarties” — yet another reconstitution of a defenseless manufacturer’s product. After crushing up the classic sugary candy into a powder and holding it in his mouth, the child demonstrated how it appeared to seep out like cigarette smoke. His instructional video has over 350,000 views and countless copycat posts, mainly by kids.

While folks have always reconstructed meals for their own amusement, food companies can no longer expect such experiences to remain either private or temporary. As fast and fleeting as the internet is, it also acts as a permanent public record for consumers’ every little experiment. Whether McDonald’s likes it or not, the McGangBang has already left an indelible mark on their brand.

No matter how unsavory the publicity is, McDonald’s must respond. Second only to pushing their products is pushing their message, and such an easy entree to the public conversation is a rare gift. Sure, it’s not in their best interest to capitalize on the name “McGangBang,” but they damn well ought to seize on the energy and enthusiasm behind it. A few ideas:

  • Create an open contest for the best new sandwich created using only existing menu items. Put the (least rude) submissions up for an online vote, and offer the winner a limited menu run.
  • Design a secret “off-the-menu” menu comprised completely of existing items, remixed a la In-N-Out e.g. Chicken McNuggets served with Big Mac Special Sauce or a Quarter Pounder with a layer of French Fries inside. Make no formal announcements. Instead, simply inform employees of the new offerings and wait for word to leak out.
  • Rename the McGangBang something more palatable yet rich in innuendo e.g. the McOhYeah, the McLovin\’ or the McNasty. Inform employees to expect orders for the “McGangBang.” Prepare them to respond with a simple one liner, “Oh, you mean the Mc____” Subvert the crude name with a new name of your own choosing.

In short, McDonald’s cannot do nothing. The challenge is unusual, but it could be far worse. The kids could be smoking McNuggets.

– Johnny

For a comprehensive background on the genesis of the McGangBang, click here.

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Entry filed under: Food, Media, People.

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2 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Sara k  |  March 24, 2009 at 3:23 pm

    This is hilarious! Awesome article. I feel inspired to mix up my orders an create my own dirty sandwiches now.

    Reply
  • 2. Rita  |  October 24, 2009 at 6:56 pm

    Thanks for having some decorum. Seems rare these days.
    Where’s Mc Donald’s honesty and sensitivity to women who have been the receiving end of such a brutal act?
    Ahh…but money is to be made. And that makes all the difference.

    Reply

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