New commercial explains “Butter Scotch?” to the nation.

McDonald’s customers in Japan are constantly being introduced to exciting new releases, and in recent years, these limited-edition menu items have been introducing them to overseas tastes as well.

The chain’s latest release shines a spotlight on butterscotch, with a Butterscotch Pie that’s filled with sweet and warming dessert flavours.

The new pie contains two fillings — a flavourful cream made with butter cookies and a fragrant rich caramel filling made with butter. According to the chain, the moment you take a bite, the aroma of butter fills your mouth, and the texture of crunchy cookies inside the cream adds an exciting contrast.

McDonald’s likes to showcase its hot pies during winter, so joining the new pie is a classic limited-edition variety, the Belgian Chocolate Pie, which has been renewed for the first time with a richer and more bitter flavour to suit adult tastes. The new chocolate cream contains more Belgian chocolate than before — 27 percent Belgian chocolate — resulting in a richer and smoother texture, while dark chocolate helps to create bitterness.

▼ Both pies are priced at 210 yen (US$1.45) each, and will be on sale from 10 January to early February.

▼ The Belgian Chocolate Pie packaging is as seductive as the pie itself.

As for the new Butterscotch Pie, it too has a tasty design, but instead of writing out the product name as “Butterscotch” they’ve chosen to go with “Butter Scotch?

To native English speakers, the question mark in the title actually brings the butterscotch into question, as if what it contains may or may not be butterscotch.

But then again, separating the word into two parts, “butter” and “scotch” is just as confusing, as it doesn’t really explain the true etymology of the word, in which “scotch” is believed to stem from the Middle English “scocchen” (“to score” or “to cut”), as the butter candies are scored after boiling to make them easier to break apart.

In any case, it appears that “Butter Scotch?” is very much designed for the Japanese market, where butterscotch isn’t very well known. Butter is extremely popular in Japan, where there have been butter shortages in the past, but when Japanese people hear the word “butterscotch”, many may be confused as to what it is.

To help explain it, McDonald’s has released a new commercial to promote the new pie, where a young woman is shown asking herself “What is butterscotch?” after hearing others expressing their excitement for it. She finally gets to grips with it upon being magically transported to a nondescript European town, putting her in good stead for the moment she comes face-to-face with the pie at McDonald’s.

▼ Check out the commercial below!

To help spread the word about butterscotch even further, McDonald’s is running a special Twitter campaign where 10 Japanese residents who follow the chain’s official Twitter account and reply to the below tweet with “#バタースコッチ気になる” (“I’m curious about butterscotch”) by 8 January will be chosen to receive a 1,000-yen McDonald’s coupon.

▼ Yes, this wagon says “Road to Band Orchestla & Dance” but we’ll just gloss over that bit of Engrish for now.

With all the promotion surrounding the new pie, here’s hoping more people in Japan will become acquainted with the buttery goodness of the sweet, so that next time there’ll be no need for “butter scotch?” — it’ll simply become “butterscotch!” instead!

Source, images: Press release
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