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Princess Prissypants gets McMad

May 12, 2011

We’ll lead off with the good news, of which there was plenty today for the Cardinal faithful: Jaime “What Sophomore Slump?” Garcia threw another seven innings of one-run ball; Matt Holliday interrupted his uncharacteristic string of strikeouts with a wallop to Waveland Avenue; Yadi continued his torrid hitting with a single and two doubles; and Jon Jay had a three-hit, three-RBI day. The Cardinals didn’t even wait for the first pitch to bring the fun to Wrigley Field—if you haven’t already watched Kyle Lohse doing his Tony La Russa impression as he brought out the lineup card, do it now, and consider 1) how unlikely this kind of lighthearted moment would have been with last year’s dour Redbird squad, and 2) how much better baseball is when it doesn’t take itself too seriously.

So, after a 9-run attack and a 1-2-3 ninth inning, I was feeling pretty darned good.

Then I heard it.

It was the new radio ad for McDonalds’ Cardinal Ticketfest promotion, a deal that allows fans to earn discounts on Cardinal tickets by purchasing grease-drenched artery-annihilating death-food.

I can’t find the ad online, and I wasn’t fast enough to create a transcript, but here’s the synopsis: A devoted Cardinal fan (male, naturally; all baseball fans are male!) finds that his only means of getting great seats at Busch Stadium is to attend a game with “Princess Prissypants,” a vacuous floozy whose wealthy father has gifted her with tickets and who spends the game gabbing nonsensically on her cell phone, occasionally interjecting Valley-Girl-inflected questions to illustrate her ignorance of baseball (“….and I was like, OMG, LOL!….oh, what’s an ‘outfielder’?”), while the poor fan suffers in tormented silence.

Basically, it’s Faust without any of the strong female characters, and the happy ending is the revelation that the McDonalds Ticketfest deal will allow our hero to watch the Cardinals without the encumbrance of stupid, silly ladyfolk nearby.

McBite me.

Unlike the fan in the ad, I’m not one to swallow my rage, so I found an online contact form for McDonalds’ St. Louis offices. Here’s the note I sent them; perhaps you’d like to click here and send one of your own:

The Cardinals’ win over the Cubs has just ended, and I’ve just had the misfortune of hearing, for the first time, the “Princess Prissypants” ad for your Cardinal Ticketfest promotion. It is, of course, only one of a plethora of ads that aim to appeal to a baseball-loving demographic by portraying women as vapid dimwits who know nothing about sports (“what’s an outfielder?”). But I frankly cannot fathom why you feel that this is a winning strategy, let alone an honorable one. Not every baseball fan is male (and the Cardinals, I’d venture to guess, claim an even higher percentage of knowledgeable female fans than most teams). Not every male baseball fan is an insecure sexist who needs a fast-food chain to reassure him that sports are a boys-only club. And of the dozens of women in my life who are passionate about the Cardinals, there’s not a single one who would dream of sending one Cardinal-red cent in your direction in light of this contemptible ad. Can you explain to me why you feel it’s an intelligent marketing tactic to insult a huge portion of your audience? Thank you in advance for your response.

I’ll post an update if and when I receive a response, which I imagine will take the shape of either a content-free form e-mail or a “We’re sorry if you were offended by our ad, which was intended only as a humorous slice of life and not as a comment upon all women. Attached is a coupon for $1 off your next Egg McMuffin” pat on my pretty little oversensitive head.

Until then, the only controversial Big Mac I’ll be enjoying is the one who seems to be doing some good for the Cardinals’ league-leading offense.*

* Full disclosure: I’ve been a vegan for 16 years, so….yeah, nothing’s really changed. Don’t tell Ronald.

4 Comments leave one →
  1. fearlessleader permalink*
    May 12, 2011 6:29 pm

    Seriously, have you checked out the Cardinals’ team stats lately? They’re first in batting average, first in hits, first in OBP, first in total bases, first in OPS, 25th in strikeouts, and….uh….first in double plays. Today’s game also made them the first team to top 200 runs for the season; they’re averaging just over 5.3 runs per game. And yes, I know what all those initials mean. LOL.

  2. jrfstl permalink
    May 13, 2011 7:42 am

    Maddening! Letter sent. I wait eagerly for the compensatory follow-up ad where a woman explains to the guy next to her how a player’s slugging percentage can be greater than his batting average….


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