McDonald’s Co-Opts Sampling: Hamburglar Immediately Sued by Bridgeport Music

I feel the need to document any reference to sampling in pop culture.

A guy walks into some kind of loft space holding a McDonald’s bag in one hand and a record in the other. He greets a DJ standing behind 4 turntables, spinning red and green-colored vinyl (bearing the McDonald’s imprint, of course.) The DJ scratches snippets of dialog about burgers like “lettuce” and “bun”, you get the idea.

Meanwhile, Dwayne Wade happens to be there… and he sits down and begins to eat someone else’s Big Mac. “Hey, that’s my Big Mac”, the rightful owner says.

“I’m just sampling“, Dwayne Wade responds.

Then the DJ retorts, “Sample this!” … and the DJ immediately returns to scratching “pickle” or whatever.

Then there’s a chyron to visit myspace.com/bigmacchant. Now, not only has McDonald’s made sampling the subject and punchline of this commercial, but it has built a huge  campaign around it. Big Mac Chant is a contest to create a mix using musical and audio elements supplied (in part) by McDonald’s. It is unclear what, if anything, the winner receives. (At the time of this writing, when you click on the “Official Rules” on Myspace, you receive a “File not found” error. Great job!)

The official instructions (as contained in the audio kit) state:

1. Use the sound files provided in the download kit to create your chant, or customize your mix by adding your own originally produced music or royalty-free loops available at sites like sonomic.com and acidplanet.com

2. Start mashing up your chant using one of these music-mixing programs: Apple Garageband, Digidesign, Protools, Sony ACID or Ableton Live.

3. All of the files in the download kit are at a tempo of 96 BPM. For the best results make sure to set your mixing software accordingly.

4. We’re looking for the best track for our :30 commercial, so naturally, the most successful submissions will be :30 long.

All of the loops included in the download kit have been made available for individual use, strictly for the purpose of the Big Mac Chant-Off and may not be used in association with anything else or for any other purpose.

Which program will you use? Digidesign or Pro Tools? Who wrote that, my Mom?

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2 responses to “McDonald’s Co-Opts Sampling: Hamburglar Immediately Sued by Bridgeport Music

  1. And the ad makes the usual mistake of making inappropriate analogy between material objects and ideas.

  2. well, at least you can use those McSamples to create a parody of the campaign, since that would be protected under Fair Use…

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