The McMass Project wanted to put a McDonald’s franchise in a church.

In its quest to raise $1M towards the purchase of a McDonald’s franchise, the McMass Project received attention from Fox News, Church pastors, and Subway executives alike.

When the McMass Project became the first google search result for “McDonald’s,” their legal department started to pay attention as well.

The McMass Project sought to help churches reverse falling attendance rates, and revitalize their public perception.

In order to reintegrate churches within popular culture, The McMass Project campaigned to establish a McDonald’s franchise inside a willing partner church, and ran both a publicity campaign and an Indiegogo fundraiser towards this end. The McMass Project was a criticism of churches as commercial institutions, and poked fun at the idea of solutionism — the veritable worship of ‘design solutions.’ Ultimately, the McMass Project was approached by 6 interested churches, was contacted by Subway, looking to replace McDonald’s as the restaurateur, and raised ~$1200 before the crowdfunding campaign was frozen. The McMass Project website received a cease and desist from the McDonald’s Corporation; the censored site is still online in memoriam.

McMass Campaign Stats:

Page Views 100K, Facebook Impressions 6M, Twitter Impressions 200K, Google Results 10K, Articles in 15+ Languages, Interested Churches 6,Corporate Counteroffer from Subway.

Indiegogo and Consumer Realism

The McMass Project existed as a crowdfunding campaign; an inherently commercial form. To be true to this, we created an actual campaign on the Indiegogo fundraising platform; had this campaign reached its funding goal, the $1M raised would have gone directly to a church. Because of this, the McMass Project was consumer-real: all of the project content dealing with consumer financial transactions was fully realized, both functional and specific to its platform. This may seem like a minor point but when we think about satire the potential for this consumer realism is an important distinction — one that transforms a project from a merely a hoax, to simply unlikely. It roots the project as commentary as opposed to trolling; Horatian satire, rather than Juvenalian.