Is McDonald’s trying to become a luxury brand? Capitalism, minimalism, decadence and French fries.

What is happening to McDonald’s? Is the brand going bananas, or is it about to make the smartest move ever?

 

The facts:

From RocketNews24: ‘McDonald’s Japan recently unveiled the Quarter Pounder Jewelry series of premium high-class burgers, laughing at your conventional definition of fast food. But at 1,000 yen (US$9.93) without fries or soda, and including quality ingredients such as truffle sauce, pineapple, or chorizo, these fancy burgers are unusual menu items for a fast food chain.’

TAXI – The Global Creative Network reportsTo match up to the quality of the premium burgers, the fast-food giant also packed them in exquisite-looking minimalistic packaging.

As opposed to its brown paper bags, McDonald’s used glossy white paper bags—much like those you’d receive when you shop at fancy branded outlets—that were printed with “golden arches” in gold foil on the front.

Each burger was also wrapped with a gold-colored paper sleeve, and placed in a luxury-watch-box-packaging lookalike of a glossy white paper box.

Would you pay more for McDonald’s if they used quality ingredients and posh packaging? Or is this just decadent?’

Here’s one of the comments left by the users: ‘This is a prime example of putting lipstick on a pig…’

And a collection of pictures of said luxury junk delicacies.

1 2 3 4

This is what they look like in real life, anyway.

5

Meanwhile, in France, the new ad campaign features close-up photos of chips, a Big Mac, a Filet-o-Fish, and other products. No text. No copy. No logo. Nothing but the product.

mcdonalds-france-big-mac mcdonalds-france-french-fries

“Minimalistic” is the word.

A concept that is growing popular, recently, especially when it comes to luxury brands. As a great article – ‘the Rise of the Unbrand’ – on the Harvard Business Review puts it, ‘Today, some major mainstream brands are even removing their logos voluntarily. Take Selfridges & Co. The UK-based company was voted Best Department Store in the World at the Global Department Store Summit in 2012. With stores in London, Birmingham and the Manchester region, they are experimenting (and succeeding) with a very counter-intuitive brand strategy of creating silence. As part of their “No Noise” initiative, they’ve launched something called The Quiet Shop, a store-within-a-store for which some of the world’s most respected brands have actually removed their logos. These “de-branded products” includes the very-well-known brands Levi’s, Creme de la Mer and Beats by Dre — just without their signature logos.’

So, is McDonald’s trying to appeal to Gen Y – which, as we said elsewhere, lives and loves the paradox of the concepts of luxury and junk, sort of Apollonian and Dionysian dichotomy – and reinvent itself as a thoughtful and decadent luxury brand, or have they just lost the plot?

Talking about junk food, Japan and decadent stuff, this photo was posted by a Burger King employee, who was fired after it went viral. There is the allure of capitalism, a crucifixion that reminds us of Mantegna and Guido Reni, the sadness of post-Marxism, and a bucket full of God knows what, here.

burgerkingfired

And here’s the good old junk approach: no vain ambitions, no frills, no exotic dreams of luxury and pineapple in burgers, just the ultimate Call to Action – “Got a couple of bucks? Good, come here and give it to us.”

kfc_direct

Photo sources: TAXI – The Global Creative Network http://designtaxi.com/ PR Daily http://prdaily.com/Main/Home.aspx RocketNews24 http://en.rocketnews24.com/

What do you think?

London Web Agency Appnova – keep following us on Twitter @appnova and “like” us on Facebook for useful news and tasteful digressions about geeky stuff.

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  1. The Week in Review | Tidybrand blog - September 6, 2013

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