Thursday, January 25, 2007

McDonald's Ad References... RoboCop!?

Flipping through channels this evening, I saw a new ad for the McDonald's dollar menu. The ad ends with the announcer saying, "I'd buy that for a dollar." That phrase comes from the dystopian sci-fi movie RoboCop, in which it is a catch phrase for a crass, Benny Hill-esque TV show that entertains the degenerate citizens of future Detroit.

What could McDonald's possibly be trying to say with this ad? Has the phrase filtered out into pop culture so far that it is free of its roots? I could be wrong about its roots, I suppose. This forum links it to a sci-fi short story with the phrase "Would you buy it for a quarter?" But a little google research suggests the "dollar" version is indeed from RoboCop.


Marc said...

I seem to remember that on the DVD commentary for RoboCop, the film's writer explains he created the line as a believably stupid and realistic catch-phrase. I'd say it worked: I know I've heard it plenty of times removed from its RoboCop context over the past 20 years. I'd say it has a life of its own.

Com$tock said...

Yeah, I've heard it too, but I always thought it was a winking reference to the movie. I wonder if McDonald's knows that, for some people, they will be associating their product with what is, in part, a satire of mass-market idiocy. I suppose the more cognizant among us already see McDonald's as a representative of such idiocy, though.

Marc said...

I'm lovin' it!