Please don't ruin breakfast by bringing a McMuffin to my door - Stephen Jardine

What is a proper breakfast?. How about a bowl of porridge on a cold morning to set you up for the day, or a full fry up at the weekend or maybe a bowl of yoghurt and fruit, if you are striving to be healthy.

What it probably doesn’t involve is a bag on your doorstep filled with something extruded from a fast food restaurant three miles away then delivered half an hour later by a sweaty student on a pushbike. However that is the opening image of McDonald’s latest advertising campaign where a ‘housebound foodie’ picks up a Sausage and Egg McMuffin from her front doorstep.

Ignoring the fact that she may be housebound due to obesity caused by eating too much fast food, the advert then goes on the inevitable to show how us how McDonald’s offer us “breakfast done properly”.

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The company says the campaign is designed “to shift perception of breakfast away from being the antidote to a bad morning and into the realm of enjoyment and fulfilment, whatever the occasion”.

Breakfast is always a treat and an occasion in itself, writes Stephen Jardine. PIC: CC.Breakfast is always a treat and an occasion in itself, writes Stephen Jardine. PIC: CC.
Breakfast is always a treat and an occasion in itself, writes Stephen Jardine. PIC: CC.
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Wait a minute, what?. Who says breakfast is the antidote to anything?. Perhaps in the world of advertising where the pandemic means yoga in the office has been replaced by sitting in your pants at the kitchen table ignoring the dog and trying to come up with a catchy ditty for a brand of toothpaste. But for the rest of us, breakfast is a treat.

No matter what I’ve eaten the night before, I always wake up hungry. In this troubled world, we’ve lived to see another dawn and a full day of eating lies ahead. It can be fancy - Eggs Benedict or pancakes or French toast. Or it can be simple, a cup of tea, a slice of bread and some proper marmalade.

As a nation, we are spoiled for choice when it comes to the first meal of the day. If you don’t believe me, take a trip to The Wolseley on Piccadilly – so famous for it’s breakfast that the late great AA Gill wrote a brilliant book about it. Alongside Devilled Kidneys, Kedgeree and Boiled Eggs with Soldiers on the menu, they serve Fried Haggis with Duck Eggs and Whisky Sauce which is every bit as good as it sounds.

At the top of their menu it says ‘breakfast is a meal apart’ which is their modest way of saying ‘done properly’. Breakfast isn’t just fuel at the start of the day, it is an occasion in itself.

With the rich and varied options on offer for us, we really don’t need an American fast food brand telling us that sticking an egg and a slice of processed cheese in a muffin and putting it in a bag equals breakfast done properly.

However, you’ve got to admire their chutzpah. Rather than a ‘housebound foodie’, we all know the real people ordering a breakfast home delivery Sausage and Egg McMuffin are those souls so incapacitated by a hangover that they need food but are still too drunk to work the toaster.

A far better name for this campaign would have been “breakfast for people who basically can’t be bothered to make breakfast” but when did reality ever matter in the world of advertising?

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