It says a lot about the British attitude to sport; the biggest Olympics story today is about chips.
More specifically, Olympics sponsor McDonalds, the well-known purveyor of health foods, who ‘own’ those sugar-drenched sticks they laughingly call fries and don’t let any other foodstuffs into the grounds. But following an outcry from disgruntled ground staff they’ve been forced to relent and allow in real chips.
What mystifies me is why a junk-food outlet would want to try and attach themselves to a contest of athletic prowess. Are their executives genuinely deluded into thinking the world will feel better about them? Junk food is associated with ill health, fat people, poverty, opportunism, crassness and bad capitalist practices, not discipline, stamina, grace, slenderness and fantastic health.
Such is the world of brand association. Instead of improving products or removing the bad things from them, the makers simply glue themselves onto something admirable by throwing the money they might have spent on improvements on advertising.
Meanwhile, researchers at Imperial College London think junk food outlets like KFC and McDonalds should supply UK customers with anti-cholesterol drugs along. The pills would be placed alongside other condiments like ketchup and salt, to offer people the opportunity to offset their high cholesterol meals.
Does brand association work? I don’t know anyone who eats burgers. I can count the number of McDonald’s I’ve eaten in my life on one hand. The same goes for Coca-Cola, but that’s because I find the taste vaguely reminiscent to sucking the end of a used comb.