McDonald's Goes Green

The German outpost of the fast food mega chain, McDonald’s, recently announced that around 100 of its restaurants in Germany will change their well-known red backdrops to a deep green by the end of 2009. McDonald Germany’s VP, Holger Beeck, stated that the move is “out of respect for the environment.” But Germany isn’t the first to go green, France has been leading the European greening since 2006, when it launched the internal L’Eco Journal and its web site now features the logo against said deep green. This move is part of a bigger effort by McDonald’s to actually be green philosophically, more than just aesthetically, as chronicled in the McDonald’s 2009 Global Best of Green report. There are a couple of items for discussion: a) Is literally going green too lame? And b) does it hurt the brand by moving away from the very recognizable red? My take is, on the former, yes it’s kind of lame but at least they picked a nice green and, on the latter, McDonald’s has such a broad palette of brand icons — from the mnemonic Parapapapa sound to the Big Mac to the yellow arches — that substituting red is no big deal… in fact, just look how cool and recognizable it looks against black in the U.S. web site.

Thanks to Yves for first tip.