I’ve never really looked at a straw and thought that it needed to be reinvented, but here we are. McDonald’s announced last week that it has completely reinvented the drinking straw ahead of the launch of its annual Shamrock Shake special next month. The straw was developed by the two engineering firms – yes McDonald’s actually paid engineers to build it – to create a perfect mint/chocolate ratio in its Chocolate Shamrock Shake.
The chain’s new STRAW, which stands for Suction Tube for Reversal Axial Withdrawal, was created by the JACE and NK Labs and is meant to suck the ideal flavor ratio of 50 percent chocolate and 50 percent mint in each sip of the seasonal milkshake. Regular dumb straws are just capable of sipping from the very bottom, and Chocolate Shamrock shake is inconveniently layered, with the chocolate flavor on the bottom and the mint on the top.
According to the McDonald’s, their new tubular sipping device required some fairly complex computational fluid dynamics simulations to get the flow right and make sure it works just as well at the bottom of your shake as it did on the first sip.
To show off its work with the new STRAW, McDonald’s presented it in a parody commercial that seems to mimic Apple’s 2012 Jony Ive commercial. The original ad just features the English designer against a white backdrop passionately talking about the iPhone’s characteristics in great detail.
McDonald’s commercial does just the same. It even pokes the fun at the British accent by hiring an American actor to speak with an accent. When he first comes on screen, he is introduced as “Person with British Accent.”
The Chocolate Shamrock Shake was just released alongside a couple other new minty, Shamrock-infused beverages earlier this month, but the STRAW itself is only available in limited quantities at select locations when you buy a Chocolate Shamrock shake.