I was just video chatting with a friend of mine in the United Kingdom, when I noticed that I was able to see the evening lights of London. I've always enjoyed visiting the United Kingdom, especially London - just love it, so I asked him to move his laptop closer to the window so that I can take a look around the view from his window.
I wish I hadn't... There's a McDonald's right across his flat and to my horror I saw that McDonald's has started implementing their new "eco friendly" branding and logo in their UK restaurants.
For those of you who are not aware of it, McDonald's announced in November, 2009, that they would be changing their logo colors by swapping the traditional red backdrop to a hunter green color as part of efforts to promote a more eco-friendly image in Europe, and I'm guessing eventually all over the world.
The result is the new McDonald's logo as such:
Personally, I think that this idea is as smart as the idea Pepsi had in the mid 90's when they flew a Blue Concorde around the world to promote and introduce the new Pepsi "Blue" image. Remember that? No? Exactly...!
When it comes to McDonald's, the Illinois, USA-based burger company, which has more than 32,000 restaurants in 118 countries, has long been targeted by activists as being environmentally unfriendly, but I think - and full disclaimer here; I love Big Macs - the original McDonald's logo is an extremely valuable property which should not be compromised regardless of the pressure brought on by health lobbyists or militant eco-warriors. I mean let's be realistic, taking a swipe at McDonald's is as easy as saying how we Canadians rule Hockey (yes, WE DO!), so changing the well known, and generally liked, McDonald's logo just to deflect criticism does not sound so smart.
A green backdrop is not going to make the company "green" or "eco-friendly". Rather, they should go about it the traditional way that corporations follow: Adopt some (hopefully lots) of practical environmentally friendly policies and self promote yourself every 5 seconds on every media available.
The implementation of this new green logo started in Germany, and is sweeping across Europe gradually. McDonald's touts it as it is a "real" step towards "sustainable and eco-friendly" positioning. Riiiight... And Toyota's will be safer cars the minute the Toyota logo is changed to a new one...!
Perhaps a time would have come where I would have started agreeing with the green backdrop, but having that smug twig on the Golden Arches... That's a human rights violation right there. Again, it's idiotic to mess with one of the best known brands in the world, but if you're going to do it, by God make a sporting effort of it not an LSD induced hallucination...
On a final note; A few years back, Heinz started to experiment with Green Ketchup. It had the same texture, the same taste as Ketchup, but it was green instead of red and I bought a bottle to test it out. It tasted exactly the same, but whenever I poured some on my chips, I'd lose my apetite in an instant. Obviously I wasn't the only one who had the same reaction because Heinz pulled the green ketchup from the shelves mere months afterwards. Green is never an attractive color for food or food packaging unless you've having a salad or vegetables and I am presuming McDonald's didn't research the Heinz project to learn from it, but I'm quite surprised that the marketers (all of them brilliant I'm sure) who work for McDonald's could come up with such an idea. I mean, for God's sake, look at that twig...!
The whole process seems like a "face saving" move, and a very bad one at that. If I was McDonald's, I'd be proud of my brand, afterall it represents one of the most successful companies in the world, and concentrate on real, practical, and applied environmentally friendly policies. Leave the logo alone, you're not fooling anybody.