McDonald’s Japan is raising eyebrows again with its newest dessert called the Otona no Kuriimu Pai (adult cream pie). In this case, otona, which translates to “adult” in English, is meant to suggest the taste is made to suit a sophisticated palate. But we all know the NSFW connotation “adult cream pie” has in the western world.
It’s debatable whether McDonald’s Japan knew its new campaign could easily be mistaken for a Pornhub category or if this is just another case of poor Japanese to English translation. Considering McDonald’s “accidentally” sexually suggestive cups from last year, I’m convinced their marketing director is trolling us all on an expert level.
You would assume a franchise as big as Mcdonald’s would at least run the ad by an English speaker before going public. Seeing as there are seemingly infinite examples of corporate “Engrish” out in the wild, however, that clearly isn’t the case. Remember when Pizza Hutt Japan asked customers, “don’t you hungry?”
To be fair, otona (大人) is often used on candy and snack packaging to sell the aforementioned “adult” taste. Most Japanese people wouldn’t bat an eye at “otona no cream pie” (大人のクリームパイ).
Perhaps Mcdonald’s Japan predicted its main demographic wouldn’t notice or care. The word adult, pronounced adaruto (アダルト) is used for Japanese porn rather than otona, after all. It’s still pretty hard to believe anyone with internet access doesn’t know what a “cream pie” is, though.
Japanese companies love using innuendos in commercials
McDonald’s isn’t the only company in Japan that seems to get a kick out of using sexual inuendos in their advertisements. Just look at the Long Long Man commercials for the popular candy Sakeru Gummies.
In this 11-part series, a couple’s love and loyalty are tested after the girlfriend meets the mysterious Long Long Man and his Long Sakeru Gummy. Of course, it’s a candy commercial, but we all know what she’s really longing for is Long Long Man’s long, long…well, you know.
Wait for the plot twist at the end. #itsworthit
Posted by GaijinPot on Tuesday, June 5, 2018
The commercial for the adult cream pie is also suspect. It features Japanese actors Sairi Ito and Yoko Maki as women who are obsessed with getting an adult cream pie. Maki, who is referred to as both sensei (teacher) and senpai (senior), holds Ito’s face, stares deep into her soul, and straight-up tells her that if she eats the cream pie once, she’ll be “filled.”
Come on McDonald’s, y’all know what you’re doing here. At least they had the foresight to disable the comments.
Regardless of McDonald’s Japan’s intentions, Japanese users on social media seem genuinely excited to try an adult cream pie, with many commenting typical phrases such as oishii (delicious), tabetai na (I want to eat it), and toro-rito, a Japanese onomatopoeia used when something is gooey or drizzles like, you guessed it, a cream pie. Meanwhile, the English-speaking world is racing to post pixelated pie memes.
— Irwin Oroceo (@irwinoroceo) January 13, 2020
Though not every Japanese speaker is missing the joke.
Twitter user @mochi__main says “When you hear the phrase, adult cream pie you don’t think of the image on the left. You think of the image on the right.”
He’s not wrong.
Tasting the cream pie
The sultry sweet was released to the pie craving masses today on Jan. 15, but will only be available for a limited time. If Twitter is to be believed, everyone and their mother wants an adult cream pie. I expected them to sell out quickly and felt compelled to try one for myself.
I asked the poor guy working behind the register at the Roppongi McDonald’s in Tokyo for an adult cream pie with juvenile glee. I almost wanted to wink and nudge the person behind me, but then I remembered that I’m an adult, and this is supposed to be a classy cream pie—not the kind that I’m used to watching in the seedy corners of the Internet.
There are two flavors to choose from—Belgian chocolat and sweet fromage—for a reasonable ¥150 per pie. At such a steal, I couldn’t settle for having just one, so I bought four.
The Belgian chocolat uses a slightly bitter dark chocolate, while the sweet fromage pie tastes like melted cheesecake. McDonald’s was also not kidding around in that ad. After my first bite, my mouth was filled. Needless to say, I don’t need to eat another cream pie ever again.
Unless you enjoy having warm, gooey things in your mouth, I’d suggest giving this pie a pass.