It’s March, which means Shamrock Shake season has arrived in all its unsettlingly green, minty glory. The beloved McDonald’s milkshake is available every year around St. Patrick’s Day. And though I’m not sure what mint flavoring has to do with an Irish saint, I do get the whole green thing, with Ireland’s “Emerald Isle” moniker and everything. That said, considering the Shamrock Shake ad McDonald’s recently posted on their Twitter, I don't think they know anything at all about the country they’re trying to honor.
The now-deleted ten-second ad posted on their Twitter account shows the word instrumint alongside a tartan-capped man playing a Shamrock Shake like a bagpipe. Behind him, a herd of grazing sheep and a gigantic rainbow float by. Then the prehistoric monument Stonehenge appears. Festive! Except for just about all of this makes no sense at all in an ad that’s supposed to be about Ireland.
Tartan hats are Scottish. Bagpipes? Also Scottish. Sheep and a rainbow? Sure, but those could be from anywhere. But Stonehenge? That can only be found in England. Do I even need to say that England and Scotland are not Ireland? And that English and Scottish cultural touchstones are not Irish?
The ad was immediately met with confusion and outrage. As Eater points out, that could all be part of the plan: McDonald’s could have wanted to stir up trouble by making a culturally insensitive ad. People are bound to share something this egregiously incorrect, and when they do, they’re also putting the Shamrock Shake in front of more and more people. It’s not the worst idea, but considering the negative reaction, the green milkshake may be more likely to leave a bad taste in your mouth.