You Won't Believe These Bizarre Fast-Food Chain Websites (Slideshow)
July 8, 2014
What were they thinking?
This site was originally launched in 2004, and featured nothing but a man in a chicken suit who responded to about 300 simple typed commands by seeming to do them in real time. It was launched in order to promote the BK Tendercrisp chicken sandwich, and was brought back earlier this year in a slightly more meme-friendly format.
Yes, Subway has a website devoted entirely to kids, for some reason. It primarily serves to promote the Subway FreshFit Kids line, and they’re partnered with Marvel Guardians of the Galaxy to give away backpacks for every kids meal served. The actual kid’s content is only one page; the whole site looks like it was put together in an afternoon.
Another head-scratcher from McDonald’s, 365 Black intends to “celebrate African-American culture and achievement every day of the year.” It features info on the Essence Festival, Inspiration Celebration Gospel Tour, the 365 Black Awards (which is a thing), and other outreach efforts to the African-American community. First promoted during the 2014 Oscars but in existence since 2003, many responded to the ad as if it were a spoof or a hoax, but nope, it’s a real thing. “365 Black isn’t only for one group, it’s celebrating black history year round,” Jeffrey Bowman, the ad man behind it, told Digiday. “That’s a total market approach — it’s for anybody that’s attracted to black culture, that doesn’t just have to be for black people.”
Yes, this site actually exists, and it’s actually run by McDonald’s. “Take the Asian Phrases Challenge and discover the wide mix of cultures in the Asian Pacific American community,” the site implores visitors. Intended to connect with an Asian audience, it comes across as more of a waste of bandwidth than anything else.
Another one of McDonald’s niche websites, this one is geared toward kids. As opposed to Subway’s bare-bones approach, this one is actually loaded with games, videos, “happy sounds,” activities like mazes, full ebooks, and the ability to insert yourself in a photo with Ronald McDonald. For some strange reason (a lawsuit, perhaps?) on the upper-right hand corner of the page it reads, “Hey kids, this is advertising!” Well, they better get used to it somehow.
“Join Chipotle and the Scarecrow on a journey to bring real food back to the people,” this website, run by Chipotle, urges visitors. “Play the game, watch the animated short film, and find out how to take action.” The game, which is an app you can download, is played by tilting your device to “navigate through each level, outsmart the Crowbots, unlock extras, and restore hope for animals, farms, and the environment,” and the movie, set to Fiona Apple singing “Pure Imagination,” takes place in a dystopian future and follows a lone scarecrow as he “sets out to provide an alternative to the unsustainable processed food from the factory.”
Farmed and Dangerous
Farmed and Dangerous is a “Chipotle original comedy series that explores the outrageously twisted and utterly unsustainable world of industrial agriculture.” Four episodes have been produced so far, and they’re all available to watch here, as well as trivia and some other extras. It’s gotten largely good press, and it has Ray Wise playing a bad guy, which is alright in our book.
This site has no affiliation with the company it’s mocking, but its sleek layout looks like it easily could be. It tags itself as “the only place where you can right your lightly-breaded wrong,” and lets you select whichever menu item you recently ate and click “receive my penance,” presumably to prevent you from feeling guilty about eating there. But it’s not just a parody site: after you click, it calculates roughly how much you spent, then directs you to donate the same amount to Human Rights Campaign, the It Gets better project, or GLAAD. Another option: “HUG A GAY. And remember that just because Mr. Cathy can make a mean chicken sandwich, does not mean he can change the future of our great country. The times, Mr. Cathy, they are a changin'.”