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Some McDonald's franchisees are unimpressed with the fast-food chain's celebrity meal partnership with rapper Cardi B and her husband Offset - with some opting not to promote it at all.
McDonald's acknowledges the need to update its image and attract a more diverse and youthful customer base, yet maintaining an equilibrium can be challenging. This isn't the first time the company has faced criticism over its marketing collaborations with celebrities.
When Cardi B and Offset announced they would be promoting a special celebrity meal at McDonald's, some franchisees expressed displeasure. They claimed the partnership violates the company's Golden Arches Code, which prohibits musical collaborations from including content that contains offensive language in lyrics.
It's not the first time a prominent celebrity has promoted a meal at McDonald's restaurant. Travis Scott and Mariah Carey have done so previously, offering bundles of food at cheaper prices than purchasing items individually.
For Valentine's Day, McDonald's is debuting a special Cardi B and Offset meal. This promotion includes bundles of food selected by the rappers that include a classic cheeseburger with BBQ sauce and Coke, quarter pounder with cheese and Hi-C Orange Lavaburst, large fries and apple pie - all served up!
McDonald's celebrity-backed meals usually don't come with any unique sauce or specialty item to stand out, but this one does give customers an exclusive opportunity to experience Cardi B and Offset's music in a unique way - so it may be worth checking out for yourself.
In 1953, restaurant architect Stanley Clark Meston added two parabolic golden arches to the ends of Phoenix's first McDonald's building, representing an alternative to traditional curved roofs prevalent at that time.
Ray Kroc took control of McDonald's in 1998, changing the design of their iconic arches to create what is now known as the iconic "M" logo. This modernized look was intended to reflect changes in their color philosophy and give the brand a more contemporary aesthetic.
As such, the arches no longer appeared to serve a specific purpose but rather became part of the logo design, which had been updated from Meston's original inspiration for something that appeared more contemporary and familiar.
Meston's architectural legacy can still be seen in both McDonald's logo and many of its restaurants today, particularly Downey, California's original prototype which has been restored and listed as a historical landmark by McDonald's Corporation.
The Golden Arches have had a major influence on roadside restaurants throughout America, becoming iconic landmarks since 1950. Once commonplace along highways from 1950 to 1970, these arches have since become iconic symbols for America.
These arches had a major influence on the design of drive-in hamburger stands, helping them win over American drivers and their families. Yet as America expanded, those iconic arches faded away from fast-food restaurant ends and were replaced with double arched logos that we all recognize today.
Cardi B, the New York rapper who transformed her life by becoming one of music's most influential names, has recently found herself in hot water over her recent collaboration with McDonald's. The fast-food chain joined forces with her to promote a date night meal bundle featuring an advert featuring her and Offset reciting their favorite orders during the NFL championship on February 12.
Some franchisees are disgruntled about the collaboration, contending that linking a restaurant that caters to families with an entertainer whose songs contain profanities and sexual content violates McDonald's Golden Arches Code, which sets marketing guidelines for store owners and employees. According to this document, "music partnerships associated with content that includes offensive language in the lyrics" aren't allowed."
Many McDonald's restaurant owners were taken aback by the partnership with Cardi B, a Grammy-winning rapper infamous for her explicit song lyrics and music videos - particularly her 2020 hit "WAP", which includes more than 40 curse words in its music video that inspired a TikTok dance trend. These owners expressed concern that promoting celebrity meals with someone whose songs and lifestyle don't align with the company's image will erode family-friendly values, according to email messages viewed by The Wall Street Journal.
Franchisees also questioned why the company was working with Offset, a member of hip hop duo Migos. The two have collaborated on multiple songs and were featured in a Super Bowl commercial together.
The sex-positive single "WAP" made history when it skyrocketed to No. 1 on the Billboard Top 100 and was streamed 93 million times in its first week. Starring Kylie Jenner, Normani, Rosalia, Mulatto and Rubi Rose in the video for this hit single is none other than Kylie Jenner herself - Normani! Rosalia! Mulatto! Mulatto! Rubi Rose? A hit!
Although the song has become a worldwide sensation, its content may not be everyone's cup of tea. Indeed, some critics have cited its lyrics and music video for inducing feelings such as anxiety, fear and even anger in some listeners.
Similarly, the song's message of love and inclusivity didn't resonate with everyone. Even Cardi B herself has acknowledged that the song does not reflect her beliefs or views or fit her personal style.
The artist is facing an open felony assault case in Queens, New York, related to an incident at Angels Strip Club last year. Prosecutors say she allegedly ordered the attack on two bartenders who she believed were sleeping with her husband Offset.
Cardi B was raised in New York City with her father and mother who were poor, yet she has worked hard to rise from the streets to become one of music's most successful female rappers. She currently stars on a reality show and her self-titled debut album reached #1 on Billboard charts; additionally she's made appearances on other popular rap albums such as Nicki Minaj's and Maroon 5's albums. Her sex-positive anthem "WAP" made history and continues to draw a large fan base through other videos released so far.
The fast food chain has launched a celebrity-inspired menu for couples that features married rappers Cardi B and Offset. According to the restaurant, this collaboration was inspired by social media posts about date nights and meet-ups at The Golden Arches.
Starting Tuesday (Valentine's Day), McDonald's locations nationwide are offering the Cardi B & Offset Meal for a limited time. It features a cheeseburger with BBQ sauce and large Coke for Cardi B, along with Quarter Pounder with Cheese and Hi-C Orange Lavaburst for Offset. Plus, each order comes complete with large fries and apple pie for two.
McDonald's has collaborated with celebrities before for celebrity-inspired meals, including Travis Scott, Saweetie and Mariah Carey in the past.
Since 1992, McDonald's has partnered with celebrities to create special meals for fans. These menus include all of the celebrity's favorite items to order from their fast-food chain.
Celebrity-inspired meals have proven incredibly successful for the chain. In 2020, for instance, they joined forces with singer Travis Scott to create an incredibly popular meal that had many restaurants having to use ingredients from other restaurants.
In collaboration with K-Pop sensations BTS, McDonald's is offering McNuggets and dipping sauces inspired by Korean cuisine.
However, some franchisees remain disgruntled that McDonald's has chosen to partner with artists they do not feel reflect their values. According to a Wall Street Journal report, some owners have voiced their objections over partnerships with rappers like Cardi B and Offset.
These criticisms are particularly prevalent among the women who frequent these locations. Many of them are mothers and believe that the rappers' music doesn't adequately address their needs.
Therefore, it's essential for the companies behind these celebrities to be transparent with their brand values. Doing so will allow their products to appeal to a broad range of people and meet their requirements.
Cardi B's albums contain some content that may not appeal to everyone, particularly her debut album Invasion of Privacy which was nominated for Best Album of the Year at the Grammy Awards.
She also released a few one-off singles that didn't make the cut for her debut album, such as "Hot Shit" and "Up."
Cardi B's songs have become worldwide hits, propelling her to stardom. Recently she made Rolling Stone magazine's list of 200 Greatest Hip-Hop Albums of All Time.
Cardi continues to receive Met Gala invitations even without a new album out yet. It appears that Cardi is continuing her earlier practice of releasing music when it's ready, just as she did then.