After being fired from the show, former Mythbusters cast member Grant Imahara is working once again: for McDonald’s. While he’s not actually salting fries at a restaurant, that would be honest work–especially compared to his actual new gig, starring in advertisements for the company that purport to be his actual investigations into the company’s food.
“You have questions about McDonald’s food. So they asked me to help find the answers,” he says at the start of the first video, which is very Mythbusters and actually references the show obliquely. “I’m Grant Imahara and I’ve spent years finding the truth, now I’m going to cross America, find out how McDonald’s makes its food.”
Unlike his previous job, there’s no sense of objectivity, science, or actual investigation here; in the videos below, Grant stands around while McDonald’s employees talk, giving their marketing efforts credibility with his presence and asking only the most juvenile questions imaginable.
In the second video, he asks whether or not there’s “pink slime” in the hamburgers, and is told no. But he nor McDonald’s employees address that, until a few years ago, it was, as its trimmings were washed in ammonium hydroxide to get rid of bacteria; pressure from Jamie Oliver contributed to the company’s decision to drop it.
Even if the answers are accurate–in the second video below, he visits a plant where they produce “100% pure beef hamburgers”–it feels like an ad, not an investigation. Grant doesn’t help, excitedly saying one employee is “living the dream!” because that person gets to test hamburgers.
McDonald’s efforts, which Businessweek said is “a long-term campaign” that includes the addition of “about a dozen people to its social media team” to answer questions, is similar to what McDonald’s Canada started doing years ago. But that campaign seemed far more genuine and honest despite its lack of a purportedly objective third-party host. For example, in a YouTube video, the company addressed why food looks different in ads and in the restaurants.
The answers McDonald’s Canada gave made sense, which is more than I can say for Grant’s presence in these videos.