McDonald’s Was Trying To Be Cute When They Put These Characters On Cups But It Didn’t Take Long For People To Discover This Major Design Flaw

Look – I get it. As a working graphic designer I ask, who among us has not inadvertently created a something not quite ready for the general publication ? It is a surprisingly easy mistake to make, and I know I have had to scrap a project or two for inappropriate thermometers and light bulbs. Even in the small team that I work with, there’s a whole review process that makes sure accidental genitals, stray cups of booze, and unfortunate phrasing like “pitch a tent” stay off of our family-friendly publications and marketing materials.

At McDonald’s, it seems that no one was around to take that one last look that is all the difference between a sweet, summery cup and a social media prompt for the depraved.

McDonald’s locations in Japan are distributing cups that feature a guy and a girl that when tipped in certain directions, depict the two lovebirds in some naughty situations.

Here’s the designer’s vision of how this cup is supposed to work:

But as we know…these didn’t turn out exactly the way they were supposed to. Or rather, the design team didn’t anticipate just how juvenile people can be.

If you are dedicated to law and order and keep the bottom of the cup on the table, when you finish your drink the two characters come together in a cute, romantic fling. 

But let’s be honest…if we know we can be immature and make these cute couples look naughty, we’re totally doing it.

Each of the three available cups, show the couple engaged in a chaste kiss.

So cute. If only it had stayed that way.

So innocent! So pure! It almost doesn’t belong in 2019! 

Not straight? Not a problem! Nestle two cups on top of each other and this cup is gay rights.

But we live in a universe of absolute, unbridled chaos and people started tipping those cups every which way. The results? 

From one angle, it looks like the guy is grabbing the girl’s butt. And in a different angle of the same cup, you might see that the girl is kissing the guy’s butt. A little juvenile. Not so bad though, right? We all see what we want to see.

Oh no! In these two examples, our couple appears to be getting a bit carried away…

As with so many things in life, I suppose it all depends in your point of view. 

I thought animal-style was an In-N-Out thing? I’m still rooting for these two to make it though. Let’s check in on our gay couple.

What can we say? It’s hot in these streets.

After the 2004 documentary Super Size Me drew a lot of criticism to the McDonald’s brand, the company has been trying to rehabilitate its image. Their supersize option is no longer available and newer, supposedly more healthy options have made their way on to the menu. McDonald’s has also opted for the sleeker look of competitors like Starbucks. Many franchise establishments have gotten a facelift, moving away from a garish red and yellow motif to a neutral tone look and offering free WiFi

Lately, McDonald’s has gotten into the specialty drink game. You can now drive through for a vanilla latte or a fruit smoothie, assuming the machine is working. The cups came about through a marketing campaign for McDonad’s McFizz drinks – carbonated, fruity beverages that come in a variety of colors that photograph beautifully as a backdrop for the design. 

You have to admit, it started out as a cute idea, but when producing new designs, one has to remember that Twitter exists and stays ready to drag. It’s always good practice to look things over a few times. Look once for spelling and grammar. Look a second time with the eyes of a thirteen year old boy who will take every opportunity to make a sexual innuendo. And I guess we have reached the point where we probably need to look a third time from every possible point of view so that your product doesn’t become a trending topic on Twitter for unforeseen reasons. a

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