Today, November 2, McDonalds is bringing the McRib back for a "limited time only." The McRib is an example of forced obsolescence - it appears for a limited time and then disappears in order to build up excitement in a cycle that occurs every year or so. This year marks the first time since 1994 that it has been available in every McDonalds in the country.
However, because people go MAD for this processed meat, pickle and onion combo (see this McRib Facebook interest group), I thought it would be cool to (a) taste it for the first time, and (b) explore a little bit to see why this is such a phenomenon.
Commence the bullet points!
- Enthusiasm. The McRib isn't the most delicious thing I've ever eaten - as a matter of fact, I'd give it maybe a D. But when I pulled through the drive through, the McDonald's employees were beyond friendly in their push of the McRib - they were downright giddy. The signage, the attitude of the employees, and the wafting odor of BBQ made me think that maybe it wouldn't suck. As I've said before, instilling pride and excitement into your employees makes your members proud and excited.
- Drama. The big pull of the McRib isn't that it is delicious or even particularly cheap. Its the anticipation and drama that surrounds it. It makes the McRib more than a sandwich - it makes it an event. I'm not saying tease your customers with good rates that disappear after a few days, but building excitement and anticipation about new product launches and services can serve to make ordinary things sound extraordinary.
So what do you guys think? Can tossing a splash of "drama" into things make feel grand and exciting? Let us know in the comment section!