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by Lydia Bugg
If there’s one thing the media knows about Millennials, it’s that they value “experiences” over actual things. This is great for some business sectors, like tourism, and more difficult for others like fast food.
In an attempt to connect with their Millennial customers, fast food restaurants are trying to do just that. Except their idea of an experience is less “escape room” and more “room that you would saw your foot off to escape from”. Don’t worry, fast food; we love you here at The Modern Rogue, so we want to help improve your experiences with suggestions that will actually appeal to Millennials.
Taco Bell Recreates A Dystopian Dining Experience At Comic Con
Taco Bell is recreating the Demolition Man dining experience at Comic Con this year, hopefully without the raid from people who live in the sewers below Comic Con. The fact that Taco Bell thinks this is a good idea makes me think that no one at their corporate office has actually seen Demolition Man.
While that movie’s dystopia is pretty nice compared to Mad Max, or Children Of Men, it’s still a dystopia, and the whole point is that it’s disturbingly bland. There’s no alcohol or meat allowed. The food is in super tiny portions, and Sylvester Stallone is there. In fact, a few scenes after Stallone eats at a Taco Bell in the movie, he eats a hamburger made of rat and enjoys it way more than what they had to offer.
Hey, Taco Bell, if you want to remind us of the time a movie said rat burgers tasted better than your food I guess that’s fine? However, we have a recommendation for something Millennials would enjoy way more.
What It Should Have Been:
No one left Demolition Man saying, “I wish I could go to future Taco Bell!” They left saying, “Thank God I didn’t have to see Sylvester Stallone’s balls,” and then, “But all of the buildings blowing up was pretty cool.” The fun part of Demolition Man is right in the name. We want to blow up a building, Taco Bell!
OK, maybe blowing up a building is a little extreme, but I’m sure they have an extra Taco Bell just lying around that they could stand to get rid of, and all we want is to push the button that makes the explosion happen. We don’t need to get in there with the dynamite and light a fuse or anything.
If this is asking too much, we can at least destroy a room or something, right? To me, the Demolition Man experience involves Sylvester Stallone running from fire. Can we at least make Sylvester Stallone run from fire sauce? Just spitballing. I just think it’s important to note that both flooding a hallway with fire sauce and making Sylvester Stallone run from it are way more Instagram worthy than giving away free tiny tacos.
Let’s see them serve that at 2:00 AM to a drunken frat party.
Dairy Queen’s Interactive Rooms
Dairy Queen and Nate Berkus collaborated on a series of “fun” interactive rooms in New York to promote their summer menu. Nate Berkus is a famous interior designer, but his idea of what fun is seems highly suspect. Interactive rooms sound like they could be cool and artsy, but in execution they’re just painted cardboard walls with some string lights in them. It seems like the most you could do is take a couple of cool pictures in them.
One of the rooms had a kiddie pool full of plastic balls, and another had a big pillow. Wow, calm down, Nate. A big pillow? Are you nuts? You could legitimately have the same amount of fun in your own living room for $30 without a bunch of strangers staring at you.
At least you get a free mini Blizzard to eat while you sit on the big pillow, or in front of a fake campfire if you’re really adventurous. Dairy Queen recommends you stay away from the fake campfire room if you have a pacemaker.
What It Should Have Been:
You enter a room blindfolded. Someone places two oven mitts on your hands, and you hear the unmistakable sound of duct tape being torn. The blindfold is removed. You have two new DQ Summer Blizzards taped to your hands: one Jurassic Chomp and one Summer Berry Cheesecake. Your mission is to escape the interactive room with both Blizzards intact. If you win, you get to eat them. If you lose you have to watch an animatronic dinosaur eat both of your Blizzards right in front of you. You have twenty minutes to escape.
Basically it’s a very low intensity version of American Ninja Warrior combined with Edward Fortyhands, but with DQ Summer Blizzards. It’ll start small with a balance beam over a moat full of Twix Blizzard. Then you enter a hallway -- the floor is a chocolate bar. There seems to be no danger here and that’s what scares you most of all. Marshmallows start flying from the walls. They’re the really big kind, and they jostle you enough that you lose some of the Berry Cheesecake Blizzard. That’s OK, though, because that one sounds kind of gross anyway.
Covered in marshmallow shaped bruises, you emerge from the hallway victorious, having lost only a splash of the gross Blizzard. In front of you is a climbing wall. There’s a rope to help you up, but that won’t do you much good with cups of ice cream taped to your hands. That’s when you realize you could have just eaten the Blizzards at the start. The answer was duct taped to your hands the entire time.
The Burger King Motel
OK, this one is kind of cool, but only because everyone wants their own hotel room to shame-eat Burger King in, and it’s nice the Burger King knows that’s what they’re for. In New Zealand Burger King took over an entire motel for people to “cheat on beef” with their chicken burgers.
When I say they took over the motel, I don’t mean they stuck a Burger King sign outside and chucked some Whoppers out of the lobby window. They removed the beds from the rooms and replaced them with booths. They created their own line of Burger King hotel toiletries, including shampoo, conditioner, a toothbrush, and hand soap. They even gave customers Burger King bathrobes and slippers. Guests were chosen via Facebook contest and notified by receiving a key card and bouquet of flowers in the mail.
They went all in with the ad campaign as well, hiring famous New Zealanders caught in cheating scandals to sneak around the hotel. They even hired the guy who narrates the TV show Cheaters to narrate the commercial. While I have to say that I admire the attention to detail put into this, I still think it could be way better.
What It Should Have Been:
Like I said, the hotel isn’t a bad idea, but taking out a bed and putting in a booth is just thinking far too small. You need to take that little extra step to make it awesome. If you’re going to take out the bed, we want to sleep on a giant cheeseburger. We want the pillows to be enormous ketchup packets and the blanket to be cheese. OK, we’ll be healthy and say the blanket can be lettuce, but fair warning-- we’re probably not going to eat it.
Lettuce? More like LET US NOT! HAHAHAHAHA! SUCK IT, SALAD!
Imagine waking up in the middle of the night, a little hungry for a midnight snack and just punching down through your bed’s bun and hauling out a fistful of meat and cheese. Millennials would love this. I’m not just thinking of the delicious midnight snack implication either. The Guinness World Record for largest cheeseburger is only one burger that weighs 2,014 pounds. Imagine a whole hotel full of 2,000-pound burger beds. You’d get your own Guinness chapter, Burger King!
Sprite And McDonald’s Raffle Off Clothing To Promote A Terrible Drink
Everyone knows that the more names associated with a project, the worse it will be. Gilligan is the best member of Gilligan’s Island and Thurston Howell The Third is the worst. Kazaam is the best movie ever made -- The Assassination of Jesse James By The Coward Robert Ford is the worst. So, you can see my hesitation when I found out that McDonald’s was teaming up with Sprite to make a drink called “MIX by Sprite Tropic Berry”.
In order to promote MIX by Sprite Tropic Berry (a soda that will most definitely not taste like strawberry flavored toilet water), McDonald’s and Sprite are teaming up with street-wear designer Joe Freshgoods to give away free clothes. Also, McDonald’s, Sprite, and Joe Freshgoods, teamed up with the rapper KYLE to write a song about the clothes they made to promote the soda that’s promoting the fast food restaurant. One more team up and they can be The Avengers of capitalism.
The campaign which they’re calling “That’s the MIX” launched on May 25th. The clothing will be available exclusively at McDonald’s in Atlanta, Chicago, New York City, and Los Angeles while supplies last. If you’re worried that you might have to drink MIX by Sprite Tropic Berry to get the clothing, fear not! McDonald’s and Sprite both understand that you do not want to drink this, so there’s a form you can fill out to enter to win the MIX by Sprite Tropic Berry Merchandise without actually drinking MIX by Sprite Tropic Berry with “all natural flavors”.
What It Should Have Been:
Most of these entries had some redeeming qualities that allowed us to burn them and rebuild a similar event from the ashes ... but it seems safe to say that no one wants any part of this Sprite, McDonald’s, Joe Freshgoods, KYLE, and Satan collaboration. It looks like we’re going to have to scrap the whole thing and ask ourselves what experience would we want to build around MIX by Sprite Tropic Berry Soda.
The only thing that would get us excited about this soda is if we absolutely don’t have to drink it. Bearing that in mind, I think the best we can possibly do is use it to fuel a giant Slip ’N Slide. Slide The City is a company that travels from city to city, setting up a 1000 foot Slip ’N Slide. It had a ton of problems, including people rocketing over the end of the slide and getting injured -- it’s the kind of fun car crash that could only be improved by MIX by Sprite Tropic Berry.
Or beer. Tens of thousands of gallons of beer.
Sure, you’re going to get a little sticky, but you get to be around MIX by Sprite Tropic Berry without actually having to taste it! It gets you to positively associate McDonald’s and Sprite with a happy memory, without having to be subjected to the horrors of their Frankendrink. Just make sure none of it accidentally splashes in your mouth.