When I want to feel like a rich person, I go out and get fast food coffee

McDonald’s is running billboards around Flint, Michigan, advertising their coffee as “90210 taste. 48503 budget.” 48503 is a zip code in Flint. More about this, including a photo, is available at Sociological Images. From Googling around, it appears that they are running similar ads with the zip code 48066 in that area, which is in Roseville, Michigan, a Detroit suburb.

It’s an interesting use of the zip code to invoke cultural meanings.

Call me humorless, but I’ve got to say, if I saw one of these billboards in my neighborhood, declaring “90210 taste. 63107 budget.” …I’d probably be pissed. But that’s just me.

I’m curious: What do you think about this? How would you feel if your zip code was on this billboard?

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Published in: on December 15, 2008 at 6:13 pm  Comments (6)  
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6 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Yeah it’s just another example of the type of advertising that suggests “richer is better.” Hey wait a minute, that’s virtually ALL advertising. That (among other reasons) is why I eschew advertising in most of its forms.

    I’m no coffee drinker, but even if I were, I’d hope never to know what 90210 tasted like.

  2. Richer IS better. Who wants to be poorer?

  3. Annoying… if I’m drinking the coffee in 63107, it is a 63107 taste now. That said, McD’s coffee has improved greatly in the last couple of years. They need less stupid marketing though. They don’t get it… we LIKE our homes. I love the rapper fashion of reclaiming the urban zip codes in rhinestones.

  4. How does 90210 have any affect over the taste? Do they grow their own coffee? No.

  5. I agree with you…I would be pissed too. By the way, I have posted a few times about McDonald’s advertising on my linguistics blog and for some reason it seems to be their coffee advertising that is the most irritating. Here is a link to a post about another coffee billboard – http://walkinthewords.blogspot.com/2008/12/mcdonalds-coffee-billboard-semantic.html
    Even with the alternate wording discussed in the post, I still don’t like how the ad places so much value on a customer’s income.

  6. From a marketing perspective, the advertising campaign is evoking attainable emotion rather than unattainable emotion. I think it is genius in one sense, but could possibly be taken the wrong way by certain people, especially those who zip codes are on the billboard.


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