McCain asks pillow and planter shoppers: You want fries with that?

Would you like fries with that?” has become a deeply entrenched phrase in our culture, spawning everything from a YTV sitcom, to a book, and even a country song by Tim McGraw.

It has become a withering putdown of someone’s professional accomplishments (or lack thereof) because of its association with the world of fast food. But hold onto your crinkle cut, because McCain Foods Canada is changing all that.

To celebrate National French Fry Day, a July 13 holiday sandwiched between Eat Your Jello Day and Mac and Cheese Day, Canada’s largest frozen processed potatoes company—with a whopping 78.9% share of the market in 2020—brought the common entreaty to some unusual locations.

Working with Rethink, McCain partnered with retailers including a trendy Montreal boutique where shoppers purchasing accent pillows and planters, were also asked if they wanted fries with their purchase. Those answering yes (and given that about 99% of consumers like fries, it was most of them) were met by a McCain representative who dispensed free cones of fries.

The customers’ reactions were captured in a video posted to McCain’s social channels inviting followers to tag or message the company with images of their recent purchases in exchange for a coupon that could be redeemed for a free bag of McCain Superfries.

“‘Want fries with that?’ is a phrase that people recognize around the globe. So it became our vehicle to prove that McCain fries are not only the perfect side to any meal, they’re the perfect side for everything,” said Rethink creative director Lara Palmer. “The reactions in the video say it all—fries really do make people happy.”

And hey, even junk (food) science agrees.

Chris Powell