McDONALD’S GETS RE-COMMISSIONED
The Chaser’s Chris Taylor imagines the email exchange between Maccas and Channel Seven in getting Series Two of their “documentary” series on the air.
From: Catriona Noble, CEO McDonald’s AustraliaTo: Brad Lyons, Head of Production, Seven Network
CC: Steve Liebmann
Subject: New format ideas
We’re still getting great feedback about the McDonald’s Gets Grilled special the other night. And Steve, you did an amazing job too – possibly your best journalistic investigation since those “alert but not alarmed” fridge magnets ads you did for the Howard government. Sorry, did I say ads? I meant undercover expose, obviously. From McDonald’s point of view we couldn’t be happier with how the show turned out. Sales of fries have already gone up 600% since people learnt we drench them in sugar syrup. But there’s still so much more we’d like to do.
Our TV Development division (formerly known as the Brand Management division) is keen to continue working closely with Seven to develop innovative and informative programming ideas that integrate the McDonald’s brand. I know you’ve already green-lit the Happy Meal Deal or No Deal children’s series for the 4.30pm slot, which is great news, but prime-time remains our main focus. Here’s the first batch of ideas myself and the team have come up with for your consideration:
McDonald’s Playland Gets Grilled
Six everyday kids, aged between 6 to 12, are taken to various plastics manufacturing plants around the country to witness first-hand where McDonald’s sources its playground equipment from. The kids will be able to meet slippery dip suppliers and ask any questions they have about the equipment’s levels of safety and fun. Steve Liebmann to host?
A brand new series of the popular British drama where, at the onset of war, Lord Grantham and his staff must confront the added complication of a visit by the Hamburglar. Could maybe also include a sub-plot where Lady Mary finds herself having romantic feelings for Grimace. Could a shock wedding announcement be on the cards?? (Note: check if Derek Jacobi is available to play Grimace. Or, failing that, Steve Liebmann.)
Always In A Pickle
For Trevor and Sonia Pickle, life didn’t turn out quite how they’d imagined it. (I’ll leave it to your writers to fill in the rest. But basically, we just want something warm and inoffensive starring Rebecca Gibney. People still like Rebecca Gibney, right?)
A fly-on-the-wall reality series which follows airport Customs officials crack down on people bringing inferior hamburgers (read: any Hungry Jacks products) into the country. Could perhaps also examine McDonald’s increasing use of “lettuce mules” – air passengers to Australia who bravely swallow condoms full of lettuces to ensure that, even when ingredients are out of season, McDonald’s hamburgers still use the freshest available produce. Steve Liebmann to narrate?
Home & Away
Very happy to keep the existing show as is, but our Marketing Division wondered if we could tweak the language on the show a bit. So, for instance, instead of “flamin’ mongrels” could Alf Stewart perhaps make more references to “flamin’ grilled McChicken burgers”?
Better Homes and Drive-Thrus
The team explores Australia’s ongoing love affair with renovating McDonald’s drive-thru ramps. With expert everyday tips on design, landscaping and how to position the Order Box so it’s still harmonious with the environment.
Australia’s Got Nuggets
Self-explanatory really. A nation-wide search for Australia’s most intriguingly shaped nugget. Steve Liebmann to judge?
Channel 7 News
From our end, we’re very happy to arrange several armed hold-ups or aggravated assaults at McDonald’s stores to give you content for the 7pm news. Our in-store CCTV cameras will guarantee you “good pictures” that your rivals won’t have. In exchange we’d ask that each story include at least one vox pop with an eyewitness who remarks on the excellent value of the new Loose Change menu. (Sample grab: “With all your favourite McDonald’s treats now available for less than $2, I can’t believe anyone would need to rob this store!”)
Dancing with the Stars
Again, no major tweaks needed to show’s format (why fix what ain’t broke, right?), but in all on-screen graphics and supers could the host Daniel MacPherson please in future be referred to as Daniel Big Mac-Pherson? Likewise we’d like Todd McKenney to be called Todd Big Mac-Kenney. We’d also like the judge Helen Richey fired because we can’t make a McDonald’s-based pun out of her name.
Celebrity McDonald’s Gets Grilled
Same as the original show, but with celebrities doing the “grilling”. I heard that Go Back To Where You Came From on SBS has got Peter Reith on board for their next series. How about we do the same, and get celebrity politicians to taste test McDonald’s? Has anyone got Amanda Vanstone’s number?
Obviously if any of these projects were commissioned we’d appoint an independent production company to make the series, to ensure absolute objectivity at all times. Please let me know what you think. We hope you’re as excited about these ideas as we are.
PS. I know I said let’s do lunch at McDonald’s next Friday. But is there any chance we could move that to Rockpool instead?
From: Brad Lyons, Head of Production, Seven Network
To: Catriona Noble, CEO McDonald’s Australia
CC: Steve Liebmann
Re: New format ideas
Thank you for your ideas. We’ll take them under consideration. Scheduling is a little tight at the moment, as we’ve just commissioned a new investigative documentary series Why Qantas Is Great, as well as the new 13-part family drama Telstra Gets Some Long Overdue Praise. We’re also still trying to find space for the exciting new sitcom Easy Off Bam! starring Kat Stewart and Martin Grellis.
But we value your input and your ongoing role as a major advertiser/content provider on the Seven network. See you at Rockpool next Friday. But, please, don’t invite Steve.
PS. Andrew O’Keefe LOVED your idea for Happy Meal Deal or No Deal re. getting all the models to hold Fillet-O-Fish burgers instead of briefcases. Unfortunately the burgers aren’t holding up too well under the hot lights, so we’ve had to go back to the briefcases. Our apologies.