A new McDonald's marketing stunt has managed to catch the attention of tech and food blogs because of its weird premise: the redesign of the humble straw.
The chain hired two respected engineering firms—people behind Google, NASA, and DARPA projects—to build a straw that allows for the perfectly-proportioned sucking of its dual-layer Chocolate Shamrock Shake, reports Engadget.
For the uninitiated, the seasonal shake is essentially a mint shake on top of a chocolate shake—so how to get both flavors at once? The robotic and aerospace engineers concocted a rigid, muti-holed, J-shaped gizmo that looks "more like mountain-climbing equipment than any straw we've ever seen," notes a post at GoodFood.
(It adds that complaints about McDonald's straws in regard to shakes are real and have been around for a while.) The weird part? "It works," writes a blogger at Fast Company, though he found that he couldn't get to the very bottom of the shake with the efficiency of an old-fashioned straw.
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Yes, it's "comedic over-engineering," as he puts it, and McDonald's is playing along with the grandiose acronym of STRAW, which stands for Suction Tube for Reverse Axial Withdrawal.
If it's a hit, the chain might bring it back later for a wider audience. (The condom, too, has recently undergone a major redesign.)
This article originally appeared on Newser: Weird Part of McDonald's Straw-Redesign Stunt: 'It Works'