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There’s no denying McDonald’s Japan has had rough time these past few years, with incidents like the spoiled meat scandal contributing to declining sales. To complicate matters further, some of the fast food chain’s campaigns and initiatives, like the sudden removal of menus from its counters (which have since been reinstated), have been met with confusion if not outright anger from Japanese customers. Now, it seems McDonald’s has captured the Japanese Internet’s attention again with what could well be their strangest campaign ever.

McDonald’s Japan will be releasing a new line of “affordably priced” burgers on October 26. And while that’s all fine and well, it’s their special one-day promotion in which they’ll be giving away these new burgers for free that has been raising eyebrows due to its bizarre catch.

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There are three burgers in the new “Otegoro Mac” (lit. “affordable McDonald’s”) line of menu items, each priced at 200 yen (US$1.67) or 500 yen ($4.19) when purchased as a set that comes with a drink and your choice of fries, chicken McNuggets, salad or sweetcorn.

▼ The Egg Cheeseburger comes with a jiggly cooked egg and melted cheddar cheese on top of a 100% beef hamburger patty.

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▼Next is the Barbecue Pork Burger, made with a smoky pork hamburger patty and crispy lettuce flavored with a rich barbecue sauce.

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▼ Finally, here’s the Ham Lettuce Burger, consisting of ham, lettuce. tomato and cheese, flavored with a mild mustard sauce.

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As far as we can tell from the promotional images, the burgers look fairly normal, if a little on the light side—especially the Ham Lettuce Burger which looks borderline sad. But where things start getting a bit silly is the nicknames the burgers have been given.

Yes, in true Japanese style each of the affordable offerings has been given a shortened version of its name as part of the promotional campaign: the Egg Cheese Burger is to be officially known as Eguchi, the Barbecue Pork Burger shall be Babepo, and Hamutasu is, of course, the new name for the Ham Lettuce Burger.

But that’s not all! From 2pm until 5pm on October 25—the day before the official release of the new products—McDonald’s will be giving away a free burger to anyone with the same name as any one of the three nicknames.

But wait… how likely is that? Sure, Eguchi is a fairly common Japanese name, but do the names Babepo or Hamutasu exist in the world, much less in Japan?

Somewhat mercifully, McDonald’s will be providing any one of the three new burgers free of charge to customers not only with the exact same name as the burgers’ nicknames but with a longer name that contains one of the nicknames (like Seguchi, or, um, Suzubabepo…), and also to a maximum of three accompanying guests as well. The offer also applies to names registered with social media, but you will be asked to show appropriate identification.

Japanese Internet users seem to think that the use of the nicknames borders on the ridiculous, as two of the three names likely don’t exist in Japan, and we kind of have to agree that including the bogus names does make it hard to take the campaign seriously.

Still, at least the Eguchi-sans of Japan will be getting a free burger—not to mention suddenly finding themselves extremely popular on October 25 with people wanting to accompany them to McDonald’s for lunch. We hope the lucky folks who get to try a complimentary burger enjoy the experience!

Source: McDonald’s Japan news release via
Photos: McDonald’s Japan website special campaign page and McDonald’s Japan news release