Marketing Deal Announced

The following article first appeared on Episcopal Cafe's The Lead. While we're generally grumpy about the fact that this "cafe" still hasn't delivered our double espressos, we're impressed with their nose for news. They scooped every other media outlet to get this story, including the SEC. Tim and Scott did want to squash one rumor, however: they will not be changing the name to Lent McMadness.

Innovative Marketing Deal Announced

mcdonalds-sign-horizForward Movement has entered into an agreement with international fast-food giant McDonald's to issue special Lenten Happy Meals featuring popular saints in what will be called “Holy Heroes Happy Meal.”

Starting this Holy Week, you can get an action figure of saints voted on by fans of Lent Madness, an annual project of Forward Movement of Cincinnati, Ohio.

“We feel this imaginative product spin-off will benefit both parties in countless ways,” said Scott Gunn, Executive Director of Forward Movement.

“Every Lent many thousands of Christians take to the brackets and vote their favorite saints until one and only one wins the Golden Halo,” says Jeff Stratton, President of McDonald's USA. “We can’t imagine anything more inspiring than a Julia Chester Emery or Samuel Isaac Joseph Schereshewsky action figure in a child’s Happy Meal.”

"We got the idea to partner with McDonald's by thinking about St. Lawrence who was roasted to death," said the Rev. Tim Schenck, who first came up with the idea for Lent Madness. "After he was in the fire for a while, he called out 'I'm done on the side, turn me over.' We appreciate a guy who kept his sense of humor to the last. And McDonald's does too."

It is understood that this promotion will appeal to more than just children.

“We expect that many adults will snap these up as collector’s items,” said Gunn. “Many bookshelves in many clergy offices will no doubt be enhanced Printby their mere presence. Seminary texts that haven’t be touched for years will certainly be spiffed up by these characters!”

Celebrity bloggers will create the fun and informative texts that will accompany each meal printed on every box.

Predicting which saints to produce will be tricky. For example, Shereshewsky was voted out in early voting in this year’s brackets but after the production run was ordered. It was confirmed that past Golden Halo winners Frances Perkins and Mary Magdalene will be available. “While these figures won’t substitute for Lent Madness itself, we foresee a new level of saintly silliness as this partnership proceeds.”

With the corporate sponsorship, the only required change was to give the winner "Golden Arches" rather than the traditional Golden Halo. Gunn and Schenck agreed the change was worth it: "We've super-sized this one!"

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60 comments on “Marketing Deal Announced”

    1. No doubt dreamed up by Saint Hilarius, chagrinned at not making the bracket.

  1. And a Happy April Fool's Day to you too. Check out the King's College Cambridge, treble boys' choir announcement. It's good too.

  2. Mr. Pagano...probably not a joke. My only concern is that a big bunch of men whose last names are all McDonald are in a Taco Bell commercial. SEC, have you no shame?

  3. If this is not a joke, it is an appalling connection. McDonald's is one of the worst offenders of employees rights. I trust it is a joke, a stupid one, but a joke.

  4. April Fool? Are you kidding? This is a fantastic idea, guys! Sign me up! I'll have a medium Harriet Bedell, 2 medium JSBachs, and one supersize Christina the Astonishing! Even though it's MickieD's, I feel the spirit of this offer singing, "Have it your way!"

  5. So finally we can let go of making Fred Rogers a saint, and move on to a campaign for Ronald McDonald!

  6. Um... who is the patron saint of Fools? I for one will sing his/her praises.

  7. Noooooooooooooooooooooooo!!!!!!!
    Please tell me that this is a sick April fools day joke. I have worked for 3 different McNasty's and they treat their workers like DIRT.
    Not only that, but the junk they sell barely qualifies as food. One manager I worked with ended up needing Double Bypass surgery as a direct result of his diet which consisted largely of the fat and calorie laden harbingers of death that McNasty sells to an unknowing public
    Guys. Please tell me it's a joke.

  8. Ann C, I have no intention of giving up my quest to see Fred Rogers in the bracket. Ever. World without end , Amen AND Amen!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    Any questions? See above.
    Peace,
    Madeleine Baier

    1. I agree, McDonald's overall doesn't treat most employees very well, and the food is nowhere near healthy. And if this wasn't an April Fool's joke, I'd have a few choice words for a certain couple of priests! (And unlike being the official denomination of Major League Baseball, this is not a very good one.) A good one would have been "ESPN to replace March Madness coverage with Lent Madness coverage" or "Francis, Bishop of Rome, finally releases his Lent Madness bracket."

      And I agree Fred McFeely Rogers belongs on a bracket, and not just over at NPRvPBS either! Sanctus subito!

  9. Here I truly believed I was the queen of the April Fools joke. Now I realize I am a rank amatuer. At least you had me laughing myself silly.

  10. This is a perfect vehicle for all the saints who aren't official yet - Mr. Rogers, Captain Kangaroo, Buffalo Bob . . . Perhaps we can get Barry Manilow to write a little jingle for each one.

    In the spirit of the day, perhaps we could have a competion between JS Bach and Moxy Fruvous.

    1. That would be way too hard a choice! Both Herr Bach & Moxy Fruvous can lift my spirits in minutes.

  11. Scott, you are taking the Big Mac Bridge too seriously. It is over the Ohio River, not Forward Movement. But close.

  12. It didn't take me long to catch on, after all this IS April 1! Very clever!

    1. Pat (the Celt), the official MLB denomination? So much for "Damn Yankees," then.

      Now I really want a Frances Perkins action figure.

  13. Checking the date on this posting for confirmation of the exciting new.

  14. While I'm very glad you folks didn't *really* sell out, I confess I was all set to go get a Frances Perkins Happy Meal.