- Hollis Johnson
- McDonald’s is bringing back two additional sizes of the Big Mac to its menu. The larger version is called the Grand Mac, and the smaller version is called the Mac Jr.
- The company announced the additions in a Super Bowl ad highlighting the Big Mac’s nostalgic qualities.
- I tried the Grand Mac a year ago and found that it hit a nostalgic sweet spot.
The Macs are back.
In a commercial that aired during the Super Bowl Sunday night, McDonald’s announced the return of the Mac Jr., a smaller Big Mac, and the Grand Mac, a larger one. The ad, called “Cherish,” was designed to tug on the nostalgia strings, inviting people to fall back in love with the Big Mac.
In fact, I already had – a year ago, in fact, when I first sank my teeth into a Grand Mac, shortly after the sandwich was initially added to menus.
It all started after I had agreed to go to a whiskey tasting immediately after work last year. What I didn’t realize (but should have): tasting means drinking. Four whiskeys on an empty stomach later, my mistake was palpable in all of my senses. I began Googling nearby dinner places while the instructor prattled on about the difference between 15-year and 18-year single malt. (Honestly, I’m still not convinced there’s much of one.)
When I noticed the McDonald’s a block away, my mind was immediately made up. I had remembered the new Big Mac sizes the company had just released, and I knew what I had to have. There was no better opportunity to devour the largest, the Grand Mac, than right now – with a belly full of whiskey but devoid of food.
I hadn’t stepped inside the Golden Arches in a long time. It was exactly how you likely remember it. Spartan, but a little upbeat. I stepped up to the counter, and after some forced pleasantries, I relayed my order.
“Can I get a Grand Big Mac, please?”
I watched the cashier’s eyes grow wide as she realized what I asked for. “Oh, gosh,” she whispered under her breath. “Anything else?”
Yes, there was something else. I also purchased a four-piece chicken McNugget. I was feeling myself.
A short while later, my number was called; I grabbed my bag and practically ran home.
“You’re gonna need two hands,” the box reads. I was undaunted. With one bite, I was instantly transported to another time and place. This wasn’t just a bigger Big Mac. It was a portal to 15 years ago, when I was smaller and Big Macs just seemed bigger to me than they really are.
- Hollis Johnson
I ate a lot of Big Macs as a kid of the ’90s, when nutrition was less of a concern to a working single mom than finding time to feed me something I liked. And, man, I loved Big Macs. Truly. Madly. Deeply.
Naturally, I don’t eat that many Big Macs anymore. It’s impossible to find the same solace I once did. That’s why the Grand Mac was so remarkable. For a moment, I truly felt like a kid again.
For McDonald’s to continue to transform itself in the modern food-service landscape, it would do well to continue looking to the past, as it did for its Super Bowl commercial. It’s these nostalgic, only-’90s-kids-will-get-this experiences that will keep me coming back when I’m looking for comfort.
You can watch McDonald’s Super Bowl ad here: