Daily Insights

Tasteful Marketing in the Age of Coronavirus

By: Mackenzie Baker | Apr 10, 2020

Brand marketing in the face of Coronavirus has taken a turn—while many brands are quickly adapting in ways that reassure consumers, not all have found success in their new techniques. 

One brand that recently faced an onslaught of criticism is McDonald’s, which released a reimagined logo–its classic golden arches split in two—only to discard it following international fan complaints. Restaurant brands must consider potential outcomes before new campaign launches, according to a Gartner report, but with a variety of brands updating slogans and logos to reflect social distancing, McDonald’s response was unanticipated. 

The transformation came on the heels of McDonald’s shutting many of its locations around the world or switching strictly to drive-thru, such as in the U.S. and Brazil—the latter being the location the new logo campaign took place. Just as quickly as McDonald’s rolled out its new separated arches, the push was scrapped. Vocal critics across social and digital media were quick to brand the company “opportunistic” and “tasteless” for debuting the altered logo. The logo change did not affect any of the restaurant’s actual logos, but all of the brand’s social channels featuring the new design have since deleted the images. McDonald’s quickly apologized for any misunderstanding and reminded customers of the “importance of social distancing during these uncertain times.” 

Despite the lapse in logo judgment, McDonald’s is still doing what it can for consumers during the Coronavirus pandemic. For example, the fast-food company has pulled its all-day breakfast menu in the U.S. to focus on serving only the most popular menu items to make things easier on its staff—and is focusing more on app and delivery orders. Additionally, McDonald’s is donating gift cards to families of pediatric patients staying at Ronald McDonald Houses, ensuring they can still buy food during the pandemic.