Absurdly Driven looks at the world of business with a skeptical eye and a firmly rooted tongue in cheek.
Humor can backfire on you just as badly as a questionable burrito.
Yet McDonald's -- the burger place that's desperately trying to freshen up a little these days -- has gone out on a limb with an ad that may spliff the community.
I'm sorry, I meant "split the community."
You see, it's running a billboard in New Mexico with a tantalizing trope.
The image is that of its fine, edifying breakfast burrito. How very conventional, you might think.
But here are the words that accompany it: "Usually, when you roll something this good, it's illegal!"
Once, brands sank to potty humor. Now they've elevated themselves by removing the last two letters of potty.
It poses an interesting question about restaurants and how they survive.
Repeat local customers are always, always the core of a restaurant's success. This billboard's creator just might have stoners on their mind, in the same way that Jack In The Box has been doing since 2009 (see below). Or many other brands have been doing every time April 20 comes along.
If these are the sorts of people who will waft into McDonald's on a regular basis, then why not make them feel you understand them? Few things flatter a customer more than getting the sense that a brand understands the way they live and what they find amusing.
And this billboard sits just on the border of New Mexico and Colorado -- where pot is legal.
For its part, McDonald's has dabbled in humor over the years, with greater or lesser success.
This year, it launched a slightly painful campaign in which it adopted an urban myth -- that Coke (I mean, of course, Coca-Cola) tastes better at McDonald's than it does anywhere else.
McDonald's turned this into the only reason for going there. Which might, I suppose, have appealed to lapsed users, current ones and even those who avoid McDonald's on principle.
Still, McDonald's is now making pot jokes and that will cause some to throw up their hands, shoo strangers off their lawns and ululate to the heavens about what the world has come to.
McDonald's management may be among those people. A McDonald's spokeswoman told me: "This local franchise billboard does not meet our standards and is being taken down."
It's not as if this ad hasn't been seen before. Literally. In 2016 Chipotle turned to Instagram with these very words in the very same order, coupled with a picture of a burrito.