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Fake Products - Initial Timing

Carter Jung
Oct 1, 2008
Impp_0810_01_z+initial_timing+sig Photo 1/6   |   Fake Products - Initial Timing

100% beef
Not to bash McDonald's for the second month in a row, but recently while driving to work, I saw a billboard that disturbed me to my very core. Innocuous at first glance, it was a plain red sign with the number "1", two Big Macs standing if for a pair of makeshift "0"s, and the "%" symbol: 100%. Sort of like elementary school teachers on tests except instead of filling in the circles with happy faces, it's a tri-bun trifecta of cholesterol. Underneath the "100%" was the word "Beef".

Now normally, most marketing messages don't make it past the filter that is my retina. Like needles in hay, or portly women in clubs, they don't ping the visual cortex. But the simplicity of this ad grabbed my attention. 100% Beef.

Take away the fact that mathematically the statement wouldn't be correct-there are buns, pickles, onion fragments, and other preservative-packed goodies to account for-why would McDonald's feel McCompelled to boldly claim that their meat patty is "100% Beef?" Is this supposed to be some sort of revelation? I never thought that I had to doubt the fact that the contents of a Big Mac were anything but beef, as in cow, as in moo. And if it is now indeed, 100% Beef, what was it before? Kangaroo meat? Miscellaneous vegetables? Synthesized cardboard? Gulp, human?

For the sake of gag reflexes, I like to think McDonald's is simply stating what's been known for all the years. That despite all the uncertainties with the environment, Middle East, and the economy, the one thing that you can hold true is that the Big Mac is indeed all beef. That and to quell any lingering doubts about the contents of its burgers.

Sadly, our industry could learn a thing or two about the authenticity of its products. I had lunch-not at MacDo-this past weekend with Will from DC Sports and Katsu from Veilside, and while I'm not a big fan of some of their older, more aggressive body kits, Veilside is arguably one of the most recognizable aftermarket designers (note use of the word) from Japan. Noticeably quiet these days, I asked if Veilside had any new products in the pipeline. Besides high-end Euros, his answer was a flat "no." When I asked why, he said because they were sick of people copying their designs and undercutting the price.

Now what most consumers don't realize, or care to, is that when a manufacturer rolls out a new product, they spend countless hours in research, design and testing. All of that costs money. A cheap eBay knockoff, on the other hand spends next to nothing copying the product, using lesser quality materials, and thus can sell it for a fraction of the price. The end result is actual designers like Veilside refusing to produce new products because it is simply not profitable.

While I'm not asking all of you to go out and buy a genuine body kit, what I am imploring of you is to abstain from buying fake shit. And not just aero parts but intakes, exhausts, seats, suspension, rims, cylinder head ports, or anything else. Most of these "companies" are in it for the short-term profits without investing in the long-term health of our industry. In fact, they hurt the real companies that spend money creating technological progress by driving them out of the scene. The end result would be an R&D plateau with few to no new products. No buenos. Ponder this: Would you buy a cheaper, alternative to a Big Mac if it was 100% Almost Beef?

Editor
Carter Jung
carter@importtuner.com

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