How do you sell fast food to a nation? Apparently by creating a massive lie. In 1971, the man behind Japan’s McDonald’s franchise proclaimed that by eating McDonald’s, Japanese citizens could ‘grow taller, turn their skin white, and their hair blonde’ by eating McDonald’s burgers and fries for the rest of their lives.
It sounds absolutely insane — because it is. And, unfortunately, this is not satire.
It all started back in 1967 with a man named Den Fujita, who at the time was a businessman who sold imported bags and shoes to the Japanese public. But Fujita was growing tired of the importing business, and saw an opportunity to make some serious cash after finding out about the success of the McDonald’s franchise in the United States. In 1971, Fujita launched his McDonald’s franchise in Japan, with a very unique marketing statement.
McDonald’s Japan Owner: Burgers Will Make Your Hair Blonde
As documented by the 1995 book McDonald’s Behind the Arches, Fujita stated:
“The reason Japanese people are so short and have yellow skins is because they have eaten nothing but fish and rice for two thousand years… If we eat McDonald’s hamburgers and potatoes for a thousand years we will become taller, our skin become white, and our hair blonde.“
That’s a Hell of a marketing claim right there. And it worked.
McDonald’s Japan has now launched over 3,800 locations, rakes in about $4 billion a year, and Fujita went on to live off the investment until his retirement in 2003. In fact, he made off with a 25% stake in McDonald’s Japan that was valued at $674 million. He even received a retirement bonus of $24 million. Perhaps by then his hair and skin became a bit lighter from all of the burgers and fries?
As more and more people realize that the foundation of McDonald’s is built on cheap food additives and weird marketing myths like the ones I’ve shared with you today, it’s no wonder that the fast food titan continues to shed profits on a monthly basis. As I told you last week, it’s now gotten so bad that McDonald’s won’t even be reporting their monthly profit losses to the public.
Do you still eat McDonald’s food? Does it make your hair blonde and increase your height, as the McDonald’s Japan founder originally claimed?