The sauces that come with McDonald’s new Buttermilk Crispy Tenders aren’t just seasonings for your chicken fingers. They’re full-blown identities.
A new campaign uses a set of elaborate posters and accompanying descriptions to promote the nine dipping options that come with the limited-edition menu item. Which type you choose says a lot about who you are.
Maybe you’re Sriracha Mac, a fiery lion who lives by the motto “Only passion outlives the heat” and is always looking to mix it up with a new adventure.
Or maybe you’re more Honey, a cuddly teddy bear that thinks “Life is sweet when you’re sweet,” and could describe yourself as “happy and approachable” but also “uncomplicated, practical and transparent.”
Or maybe you’re best represented as the new “Signature Sauce,” a tricked-out vintage jeans jacket who believes “There is only one,” and tends to “make tasteful choices with a unique attitude.”
If any of these not-at-all generic descriptions, or any of the others—disco party Honey Mustard, tribal sun Spicy Buffalo, cosmic campfire Tangy BBQ, green dragon Sweet & Sour, Mars astronaut Hot Mustard, groovy dude Creamy Ranch—you can try to chase down one of the 1,000 real-life posters that the marketer is distributing as part of the campaign, aptly titled “Obsauced” (not just for the pun the brand intends but for a different truth it reveals—that more than a few consumers are going to be stuffing their faces with these snacks after a night of heavy drinking).
The graphics themselves are fun, both striking and accessible. (The posters were designed by Chicago agency Delicious Design League.) The voice of the campaign meanwhile, is perfectly devious, serving up a worldview that’s like a shameless set of fast-food zodiac signs, helping people make sense of their messy selves in an overwhelmingly complex universe through an oversimplified system of flavors and philosophies—at the same time delicious and nauseating for having too much salt and sugar.
It’s almost as if McDonald’s realizes it’s not just peddling unhealthy food. It’s a lifestyle publisher—a force of pop culture helping its audience live a more full existence, even if that lifestyle is so lowbrow it’s falling down your slack jaw and off your face.
But hey, enjoy.