August 02, 2010

Fast Food Fights: The Colonel and the Clown

One would be hard pressed to find two faces more associated with fast food than those of the colonel and the clown. The ubiquity of McDonald's and Kentucky Fried Chicken are what makes America great. Or at least great of girth. But, more importantly, how do the geographies of the competing food chains differ?

Colonel Sanders vs. Ronald McDonald
When comparing Google Maps references to the iconic faces of these two fast food franchises, some very interesting spatial patterns emerge. For the most part, Colonel Sanders is a more prominent presence throughout the American landscape than Ronald McDonald. And while references to each are somewhat sparse throughout the rest of the world, these places are almost uniformly more favorable to Ronald McDonald.

Apparently the world prefers diplomacy (clownish or otherwise) over military expansionism. Who knew?

Building on this, we wondered who might win the virtual competition between these fast food icons and the animals associated with their staple menu items.

Colonel Sanders vs. Chicken

Ronald McDonald vs. Cow

From the first map, it would appear that the chickens of the world (no doubt inspired by our call to arms for the pigs) have begun waging a full on counter attack on the Colonel - even extending the battle to his relatively safe territory within the U.S. In fact, Colonel Sanders is so overwhelmed by the number of Google Maps references to chicken that it appears he's in some kind of virtual hiding place.

Ronald McDonald is, however, faring much better against the cows of the world. Although the bovine predominance is noticeable, the man with the painted face is showing that it doesn't take military commendations (or a fancy certificate from the Governor of Kentucky) to win the virtual battle, just really big shoes.

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