STEBNITZ: High-demand for an ‘ordinary’ McDonald’s meal

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Photo by Katerina Pourliakas

The meal includes a bacon quarter-pounder with french fries and a Sprite.

Of all of the artists in the music industry, Travis Scott may be the most popular right now. He recently partnered with the video game Fortnite for a virtual concert. He dated and even fathered a child with Kylie Jenner. His album, “Astroworld,” was streamed 349 million times and sold 270,000 copies, according to the New York Times. This success has lead to an unlikely pairing with fast food giant McDonald’s.mu

McDonald’s released the Travis Scott meal on Sept. 8. The meal, which includes all of the rapper’s favorite order at McDonald’s, costs $6 and is available until October. The burger consists of a quarter-pounder with shredded lettuce, ketchup, mustard, two cheese slices, onion and bacon. It comes with a side of medium fries with barbecue sauce and a medium Sprite. According to McDonald’s, Scott claims it is the “Same order since back in Houston.”

The meal is nothing out of the ordinary.The quarter-pounder has the best texture I have ever experienced in a McDonald’s burger. The combination of the bacon and lettuce is just what it needs. The bacon quality is about what you’d expect from a fast food restaurant, very salty and not a lot of flavor. I think the addition of bacon and lettuce is a good touch, and it was honestly the best cheeseburger I have ever had from McDonald’s.

There is not much to say about the fries. They are the most iconic fries in America, and are probably McDonald’s best food asset. The only thing wrong with them is that they come in medium instead of large in the meal. The Sprite is also always good, and for some reason is more carbonated at McDonald’s. You can order any drink you want with it, but I would suggest Sprite to stay true to the original meal.

The meal is not revolutionary, or even that unique. This, however, is not a bad thing because the name itself and the hype surrounding it is enough to make people want to buy it. I would most likely order the Travis Scott meal every time I go, just to participate in the culture of it all. I would also suggest, from personal experience, to eat the meal while listening to Travis Scott music. It may feel excessive or unnecessary, but that is the nature of the campaign itself.

Scott also released corresponding merchandise to the meal, such as hats, shirts and pants. The campaign has had a huge impact, as McDonald’s is having trouble supplying enough beef to their restaurants according to the New York Post. I have been swept up in the hype train, purchasing the meal on two occasions and even ordering a shirt from the online store.

After just a week, the merchandise store is currently sold out. If the store is resupplied, I would only recommend buying certain shirts or sweatshirts. The site sells everything from pillows to cardigans. Most items are either ridiculously overpriced or too flashy. Golden arches jean shorts cost $250, and a Travis Scott rug costs $350. Other clothing items are essentially walking billboards, displaying the price of the meal and the limitedtime offer all over the item.

My favorite items are the Cactus Jack crew necks and the sesame seed shirts. They are reasonably priced and a lot more subdued than most of the other options. The shirts cost $48 while the crew necks vary between $80 to $100. They feature a small Cactus Jack McDonald’s logo in the top left, and are much more subtle than many of their counterparts.

I am neither a Travis Scott fan nor a huge McDonald’s fan. The value I get out of it is similar to the value of a “Summerfest 1985” shirt in your parents basement- it’s a sign of the times from 2020 that I will also wear casually. The merchandise is worthwhile for hardcore fans of Travis Scott or McDonald’s, but doesn’t feature a lot of clothing items suitable for casual consumers.

The Travis Scott meal is an ambitious marketing campaign from McDonald’s because they brought in a celebrity who is not normally linked to the brand. It is well thought out, from the online merchandise to the fun commercials.

I would suggest trying the meal because it is cheap and tastes very good. I would not be surprised if other restaurants take notice of the results, and begin to have more celebrities release their signature meals.

This article was written by Mason Stebnitz. He can be reached at mason.stebnitz@marquette.edu.