Creative Campaigns #26 – McDonalds’ International Women’s Day PR stunt

In a PR stunt to mark International Women’s Day global fast-food chain McDonalds flipped the golden arches upside down.

Oh McDonalds, I love this stunt. I wish it was me who thought of this. It’s clever, it makes the point and it was always going to grab headlines.

The stunt works because it changes the famous M logo upside down into a W. It’s signifies support to women on International Women’s Day and it’s almost as if M could stand for male, the tables have been flipped and it now stands for women.

With more and more awareness generated about the lack of women in high level corporate roles, it’s a nice nod from Macca’s to acknowledge the imbalance that exists within society, and probably within the company.

It’s so simple and a designer probably knocked up lovingly crafted the images circulated by the press to illustrate the point alongside a release stating support for the women within the company.

Wait, I’ve found a picture on Instagram which shows that in one or two stores in America physically changed the M logo to a W. In the newspaper articles at the end of this post it also says McDonalds had t-shirts and other merchandise created and distributed throughout stores.

Instagram picture credit – @Jhansa

Now the stunt has received a lot of criticism because McDonalds didn’t back this gesture up with any action. Big mistake, to make this work properly McDonalds should have announced something that supported women in the company or a review of how women are treated at the company and announced a change in working practises.

Stunts are great but most of the time they still need to be backed up by real action to make them legitimate, especially in the eyes of the audience, which in this case is ALL WOMEN, and the many employees of the company.

Otherwise, the newspapers are right, this does look like a very hollow gesture which would antagonise people.

I still love this idea and think it wouldn’t have fallen flat if there had been someone there to tell them it needs something to back it up. It’s such a shame as it’s such a wasted opportunity. McDonalds has so much money and so many amazing agencies working for it – why didn’t someone realise this needed some substance? I find this unbelievably frustrating.

It’s had such a marmite response on Twitter and, as always, people’s comments have been hilarious.

You can see what people are saying about the stunt on Twitter here

The good…
The bad…
Some people are only ever going to worry about the nuggets though!

Here’s some great articles about the stunt that you can read online.

My favourite is the article from Mashable which lists lots of the funniest twitter comments. You can read it below.

McDonalds flipped its golden arches for International Women’s Day and received a torrent of Twitter burns

Read more about this PR stunt:

What do you think about this stunt? Do you agree with me that it needs some action to back it up or do you like it just as it is? Share your thoughts with me in the comments box – I always love to hear other people’s opinions.


Credit where credit is due…

Main article picture – Instagram picture credit – @Jhansa

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