McDonalds Follow The Arches Directional Billboards

Golden Arches Become GPS Tool – McDonalds Follow The Arches Directional Billboards

What was the first thing that came to mind when you read the words ‘Golden Arches?’ If American fast-food giant McDonald’s flashed before your eyes, then you and I are on the same page.

You already know how iconic those Golden Arches are. You immediately associated them with McDonald’s. Now these bright, inviting curves are the subject of a unique, inventive and somewhat powerful marketing campaign in Canada.

Here’s the deal.

The Golden Arches, or more accurately small portions of the Golden Arches are being used on billboards to direct traffic to the nearest McDonald’s for a Big Mac, fries and coffee to go. The way they are doing this is by posting a piece of the ‘M’ in such a way that it acts are a direction sign. Burger GPS, if you will.

By simply cropping the ‘M’ and adding a short one sentence phrase, you end up with what I consider not only one of the most brilliant marketing ideas to come out of Canada this year but…it also shows you a few more interesting facts about advertising and marketing.

I’ve mentioned it before. Sometimes less is more. With such a highly recognisable logo like the Golden Arches, there is no need for a long explanation as to what the ‘M’ means on a billboard. If that ‘M’ is now reduced to a slice of the branding tool and is joined by the words, “On your next left” you now have an extremely powerful tool.

The Golden Arches say food and the directional phrases tell you where that food happens to be. Even if you drive by a half dozen other fast-food chains to get to the local McDonald’s that the billboard on the freeway was sending you to…you will still find the McDonald’s.

This proves that not only do Canadians understand minimal marketing concepts, it also shows that the majority of them make better decisions on a full stomach. What sets McDonald’s apart on this specific marketing program is that if Burger King started to do something massively different with hopes of similar results, there will be comparisons to McDonald’s. In other words, the two fast-food chains that have constantly been in battle for the same demographic for decades will still be pitted against each other even if BK unintentionally tries some kind of minimalistic approach.

Ah, but I’ve taken a left turn here.

And oddly enough, there’s a McDonald’s up ahead. It’s not as if the country is so saturated by the chain that you can’t help but see one in any direction, but the billboard campaign that uses large space for a small, simplistic message gets my nod for being so strong.

McDonald’s has earned the reputation of being a leader in the fast-food restaurant industry. Now, with this new Burger GPS billboard campaign, they will be able to lead the rest of us right up to their front counter.

And yes, I would like fries with that.

If your business or service is in need of a branding solution, I may have the answer for you. Contact me so we can discuss logo design or digital marketing that can get you the kind of brand awareness your business demands.


Client: McDonald’s Canada
Agency: Cossette
Media Agency: OMD, Novu