The Guardian and Brand Republic have reported that McDonald's is planning to drop the iconic "M" logo from a new and exensive advertising campaign in Britain. The campaign launch was intended for this Friday, but marketing plans leaked out early.
Billboard posters to be unveiled on Friday will include close-up photographs of fresh salad and fruit pieces - all nestling beside that ever-present question mark. A strapline reads: "McDonald's. But not as you know it."
The campaign is backed by booklets detailing new menus which will be sent to 17 million households.
Among the tempting treats on offer are the grilled chicken flatbread, six varieties of salad leaves and, for breakfast, low-fat carrot cake, porridge or a toasted bagel topped with cream cheese.
Mmmmm! Porridge. A healthy and visually appealing entree! McDonald's is taking extraordinary steps to reach out to their customer base and dilute the growing perception that the chain is all about fat, fries and frosted treats. Where would that impression have come from? Not from the chain that sells St. Paddy's Day green milkshakes!
Of course, the agency and in-house ad experts are upbeat about the campaign:
McDonald"s UK marketing manager John Hawkes says: "The changes are big and bold, so the campaign is big and bold. No logo! But that"s the idea."
And Leo Burnett communications director Paul Lawson adds: "The fact that McDonald"s is brave enough to even contemplate a creative idea that doesn"t carry the arches shows its desire to shake up perceptions of the brand."
Brave enough, or desperate enough? In the last year, McDonald's UK has seen its profits drop by 75%.