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If you’re vaguely into hip-hop music — or you waste as much time on your phone as I do — then you’ve probably heard of the McDonald’s Travis Scott burger by now. Or the Travis Scott Meal, I guess, which is the official name. If you don’t know what I’m talking about, then the ad here can get you up to speed and establish the context pretty well for what I want to talk about here.

So, McDonald’s and Travis Scott have a brand tie in-that’s very openly a meal you can already get yourself, but now with Scott’s name on it. It’s super silly, and that’s part of the reason I’m writing this. But on a more abstract level, underneath all of the memes and the absurdity, I think there’s actually something really interesting going on with the product. McDonald’s marketing strategy feels like it’s working in a unique way that resembles “merch” or contemporary fashion branding. This is notable in it’s own right, but I also believe it showcases a new kind of relationship between our culture and the products it consumes — one that we can understand with help from, of all things, a twenty year old book about anime by a Japanese writer named Hiroki…


Ian Anthony Taylor

Upper Canada / Creative writing student at Concordia University

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