With McDonald’s “Pay with Lovin`” instant win game taking place from Feb. 2 to Feb. 14, The Rocket staff was met with a feelings of awe followed by discomfort.
According to the official rules for the game, a “Lovin` Lead” will ask an unofficial winner to “execute a random act of Lovin’ (the “Lovin’ Act”).”
Lovin’ Acts will be designated by the “Lovin’ Lead” and some examples are listed such as fist bumping the Lovin’ Lead, calling a loved one, blowing a kiss. These acts are subject to the Lovin’ Lead’s “reasonable” discretion and must be completed to Lovin’ Lead’s reasonable satisfaction, according to the rules.
Although initially, the thought of paying for your McDonald’s with a fist bump, an embracing hug or a loving phone call to your mom may seem like any McLover’s dream control (YES! I get to save that 99 cents on my chicken McNuggets!), it can easily get uncomfortable.
Imagine the potentially awkward circumstances that can ensue when you’re looking to get your morning coffee and head to work or class when you’re unexpectedly asked to give a hug to some Lovin` Lead in exchange for your hot beverage. This greasy McDonald’s employee is promising you a drink on the house and all you need to do is show him some love. It’s awkward.
No request is without possible faults. For instance, a participant being asked to call their mom and tell them they love them may grown up in a foster home or have tension with their mother. This request may seem innocent, but it is making possibly very false assumptions on the dynamics of a parent-child relationship for a game…for a free meal…at McDonald’s.
We aren’t the only ones that are uncomfortable with the concept of paying with love. Kate Bachelder wrote about her experience in the Wall Street Journal, depicting a horror story of conga lines and awkward roof raising.
“My fellow customers seemed to look on with pity as I drew my fate: ‘Ask someone to dance.’ I stood there for a mortified second or two, and then the cashier mercifully suggested that we all dance together. Not wanting to be a spoilsport, I forced a smile and ‘raised the roof’ a couple of times, as employees tried to lure cringing customers into forming some kind of conga line, asking them when they’d last been asked to dance,” Bachelder writes.
Her story is one we fear will be all to common in the coming week as McDonald’s promotion continues, a forced gesture of fake enjoyment at a deal that only looks good on paper or in staged advertisements.
While we do think it’s great that McDonald’s is trying to make the world a happier, more love-filled place, we are quite satisfied paying with the only tender the business truly cares about, money.