Brands for Life - McDonald's

Brands for Life - McDonald's

Imagination experience labs

Imagination's blog for industry insight, innovation, inspiration and general life contemplation.
  • Simone Nosworthy
  • IT London

Brands for Life - McDonald's

Is it possible to love and loathe a Brand at the same time?  I think it is very possible, I have come to find that this mixture of emotions I feel is prevalent in not only my thoughts alone on this global franchise and enterprise McDonald’s.

The distinctive giant yellow letter ‘M’ makes me lose myself in nostalgia just thinking about it. Coupled with lasting fond memories of visits to the Tottenham Court Road branch.

I was no more than seven when I lunched there (excuse the posh pun) on an unusual day in the office with my mother. This day cemented my love for this brand. The visit being the key thing and the food being the secondary aspect of it all.

Although I must say I still have mixed feelings about the man in the red wig with the lipstick, memorable, however quite disturbing.

The truth is that McDonalds has lost some of its dazzle and appeal but 20 plus years on and that particular branch in West End is still standing.

Just to think I thought McDonald’s was a perk of working life, and couldn’t wait to get a job so I could buy all the nuggets that money could buy. I was sadly reminded of this comment just last week by my older siblings.

‘McDonald’s’ could have quite possibly been my first word or any other child’s first word for that matter as it’s impossible to escape signs for 100 yards to McDonalds, the memorable adverts and all the advertisements which are so enticing. Big Mac’s with gherkins and cheese oozing out of it comes to mind, but I must admit I’ve never tasted one. But it looks lovely nevertheless.

A central meeting location etched in my teenage years of many cinema get togethers with school chums, first supervised date......

Alas there were always familiar phrases of ‘it’s near the McDonald’s or opposite the McDonald’s you can’t miss it’ that spring to my mind.  Their buildings are visually one of the most recognised sites in the world much like the Egyptian pyramids only not a wonder just a delight. McDonald’s has dare I say it ‘grown up’ alongside me.


As an admirer of just how much work goes into such a brand, I commend McD’s (abbreviated South London slang) for its ability to evolve so seamlessly in my eyes.

From the familiar bright red background to the present eco friendly green which blends into most leafy suburbs.

It managed to survive a Jamie Oliver revolution and countless political and public attacks, the harm done only seems to fuel its consumption, and the rise of obesity is still an ongoing battle.

They have attempted to make healthier options but if you eat in a steakhouse you usually don’t expect to eat the catch of the day. Need I say more.

And with every bite of a not so’ regular’ indulgence of a ‘Fish Fillet’ I can not help but visualise smiling happy children with a yellow halo letter ‘M’ behind their little heads.

So in the song words of Justin Timberlake ‘I’m Lovin it’,  ‘Brand For Life’ indeed and I’m not embarrassed to say it. After all there is a overused saying which I stand by ‘ All things in moderation’.
We'd love to hear your brands for life, so please post them below or join the discussion on Twitter #brandsforlife @ImaginationLabs. 
Previous blogs:
Kickers and Osh Kosh
Twitter chat - #brandsforlife
Delta Airlines
The Guardian


I think most people have a

I think most people have a childhood warm spot for McDs Simone, I know I do! I seem to recall small plastic mushroom stools and also the scarily, the man in the lipstick...

This article reminds me of Ogilvy's Rory Sutherland and his talk on behavioural economics. He says McDonalds are great at "satisficing" - a cross between sufficing and satisfying.

"...people don’t want the best burger in the world; they want one that’s just like the one they had last time..."

More on that here:

Ted talk here:

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