McKinney Helps You Get Over Your Breakup

By Patrick Coffee 

McKinney has recently been pushing its creatives to work on projects that have nothing to do with clients in an effort labeled “McKinney Ten Percent.” Past work has included the Twitter influencer tool Crows Nest and SPENT, an interactive game simulating homelessness. (Tagline: “It’s Just Stuff. Until You Don’t Have It.“)

The agency’s latest such work is a Valentine’s Day-themed stunt to help bitter exes get over their recent breakups. The idea is that you send a pic to @ShredYourEx and watch it get, well, shredded.

Here’s the first contextual video, which appears to be a case study of a failed relationship between a copywriter and an account manager (just kidding):


Because this project is all about charity, here’s a mention of cat poop:

McKinney Copywriter Dylan Meagher told us more about the project:

“We realized that Valentine’s Day sucks for a lot of people. We created to give all those cold hearts the chance to warm up by a fire — a fire fueled by spite.”

Sounds perfect for our readers.

“Using Instagram or Twitter, simply send @ShredYourEx a picture of your ex tagged with #ShredYourEx to watch it print directly into our commercial-grade shredder on And if that wasn’t enough, all shreds are donated to Paws4Ever, a local animal shelter, and used as litter for their kittens.

Just let that visual sink in.

McKinney’s #ShredYourEx provides a public service to the broken-hearted living in a digital world.  In the old days, you could burn or rip those pictures of your ex stashed under your bed. You can’t do that with a digital photo, and simply deleting it doesn’t offer the same satisfaction as physically destroying it. So on a day when you’re bombarded with sad reminders of old flames, we’re here to help.”

On the “how we did it”:

“In order to take Instagram and Twitter information from the Web directly to a printer, we hacked the printer API, which uses the Common Unix Printing System (or CUPS).

A thin PHP wrapper checks Instagram and Twitter user information for three things: mention of the @ShredYourEx handle, the hashtag #ShredYourEx and an image. If a post contains all three, ShredYourEx sends the image directly to the printer.

True heartbreak deserves more than deletion. Experience the kind of catharsis possible only through physical ruin with #ShredYourEx.”

The project unfortunately appears to have grown a bit too popular for its own good:

And so our lonely stock photo of Mila Kunis waits to be shredded.

Maybe the algorithm doesn’t consider what we had together a “relationship.” Our faith in artificial intelligence has been restored.