Formula trumps over casual tag line: Mathematician gets the better of McDonald’s

By Staff Writer

Jan 18, 2016 06:30 AM EST

When McDonald's introduced its 'Create Your Taste' in Australia, it would've never imagined getting a flak for a slogan on the packaging, chanced upon by a 'happy meal' consumer who also happened to be an ace mathematician.

PCPL showed that the slogan said "With 30 gourmand combinations, the chances are endless". The word 'endless' was probably meant to convey the message that the combinations the customers could use to customise their meals were huge.

Endless it is not, proved Allistair Haire, according to Social Media Blazer. The superficial message was lost on our mathematician who proved that the 'technical' message was quite faulty.

Haire, who has a degree in Arithmetic, posted a formula on Facebook on Monday, which refutes the 'endless' claim by the fast food giant. A finite number of 1,073,741,823 is the answer to the 30 gourmand combinations. He confesses the reason behind his humorous post was when a friend thought out aloud whether the possibilities are indeed endless and if there can be a mathematical proof to back it up.

And Mr. Haire, being a mathematician, took it upon himself to put his education to good use and show people what can happen when popular food giants like McDonald's advertise such careless claims.

As he told Mashable Australia, "Now, I have a degree in mathematics, so perhaps you think I don't represent the voice of the common consumer. But I'm done with the deception. The public need to know the truth. I've included a mathematical proof in case you don't think I'm serious. Goodbye McDonald's. Maybe there can be a future when fast food has a conscience again, but I'm also not so naive as to hold my breath."

While our mathematician confesses to have "lengthy been an enthusiastic purchaser", he clearly did not let brand loyalty come in way of 'public deception'.

His sentiments state the obvious when he said ""Am I expected to imagine, along with the patron public, that 30 ingredients can generate a limitless choice of burger diversifications? Does this organization put this type of low worth on my intelligence to believe me foolish sufficient to suspect that a finite selection of objects can yield an infinite choice of combos? Or is it perhaps that this international fast meals conglomerate has no drawback stooping to textbook false merchandising?"

While the general public may have thought nothing of the seemingly regular claim, Mr. Haire's post has certainly put things into perspective. His formula scribbled out with all the assumptions clearly stated, has, in all its humor, managed to grab quite a bit of attention - goes to show just how the pen is indeed mightier than the burger, if not the sword!  

If not anything else, the advertising world will be forced to think twice about writing slogans that may face mathematical challenge, no matter how big the client.  

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