Daily Insights

McDonald’s Goes Minimalistic

By: Mackenzie Baker | Feb 06, 2020

The home of the Big Mac is keeping its newest marketing campaign small and simple. 

McDonald’s is adopting a minimalistic aesthetic for its “Iconic Stacks” campaign which will feature the ingredients of classic McDonald’s items listed on billboards across the country. McDonald’s name and logo do not appear anywhere on the ads—the only giveaways are the ingredients listed and the font colors used. Several popular sandwiches, including the Filet-O-Fish, Big Mac, and Sausage McMuffin, were chosen for the marketing ploy with ingredient lists ranging from four to eleven items long.

McDonald’s has stayed on track with other brands by promoting its core items, according to a Gartner report on the topic, but the company’s “brand-less branding” tactic could help them stand out in an oversaturated fast-food market. “Iconic Stacks” is not McDonald’s first move into minimalist marketing; in 2016 the company released simplified bags, cups, and boxes in a less-is-more style modernization. While the company has been moving towards a more minimalistic style, its recent campaign tactic does not seem to have spilled over onto the brand’s social media  yet—the “Iconic Stacks” are reserved solely for outside billboards, a unique campaign move considering how digitally focused food brand’s have become in recent times.

McDonald’s campaign is letting the ingredients do the talking by seeking out loyal customers who can recognize the words and associate them with the brand. Brands looking to tactfully advertise may take a page from  McDonald’s advertising playbook for a twist on the typical tactic.