While Wendy’s is inadvertently inserting secret messages into its new logo
, McDonald’s appears to be eschewing its near-universally known golden arches, at least in one country.
The company’s new advertising campaign in France
involves billboards displaying close-up photos of food: fries, a Big Mac, a sundae, a Filet-o-Fish sandwich, and a cheeseburger. The posters have no text. They don’t give the McDonald’s name and don’t include the company’s logo. The photo of the French fries even seems to be intentionally shot to avoid the logo on the container:
A series of dialogue-free TV ads is also part of the campaign, which was developed by agency TBWA. The videos do include a brief glimpse of the company logo at the very end, but they certainly don’t seem to be playing up the traditional brand imagery. The focus seems to be its logo-free billboards.
In its article about the campaign
, The Huffington Post
quoted a Harvard Business Review article
from January about how “unbranding” is becoming something of a trend, citing U.K. department store Selfridge’s as an example of a company selling some of its products without logos.
“Of course, a brand is more than a logo,” wrote Mitch Joel, president of digital marketing agency Twist Image. “For instance, the ‘unbranded’ items at Selfridge's are all well-known brands despite their lack of logos. In that sense, the ultimate cachet is having such a famous brand that you don't need a logo.”
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One has to wonder whether the no-logo approach could work in other countries. HuffPo
notes that McDonald’s has limited competition in France and is immensely popular there. Still, Big Macs are pretty identifiable by appearance, and it’s not as though there would be huge localization costs involved in trying out the billboards, or even the TV ads, in other places.
There’s nothing to translate.