Alfino, Mark., John S. Caputo, and Robin Wynyard. Critical Essays on Consumer Culture
U.S.A.: 1998
ISBN 0275958191

Page 182

Our goal is not so much to reconstruct Baudrillard’s theoretical position as to see how it contributes to the postmodern attitude toward McDonald’s. The “scandal” of Baudrillard”s theory is that we have to begin by saying that a trip to McDonald’s is not about eating. McDonald’s is not selling hamburgers which first satisfy our hunger and happen also to have various social connotations. Rather, as a form of consumption, eating at McDonald’s is about consuming (and reproducing) the message of McDonald”s.

And what is that? Foremost, the patron experiences a peculiar kind of abundance. Every meal is a “value” meal. Every meal is a “complete” meal, affordable by almost anyone. Like a visitor to a third world country, the patron at McDonald’s is supposed to feel that his or her money (and concomitantly his or her own feeling of wealth and value) is worth more. Advertising for McDonald’s consistently presents a fantasy land of play and abundance. Second, as we have already noted, the McDonald’s slogan implies a deserved reward.