March 22, 2011

March 22, 2011

Never Listen to a Swoosh

Ronald McDonald is retiring. Actually, he is being forced into retirement, which is not at all the same thing. In this economy, I assume he’ll have to get another job working kids’ birthday parties, the circus, or a really freaky theme restaurant.

Apparently he was not classy enough to fit in with McDonald’s new branding as the place for lattes, wraps, and whatnot. But here’s my worry: If you start with Ronald McDonald, where do you end? Is no mascot sacred?

Back in the good old days of advertising (by which I mean, those featured on Mad Men), companies advertised with a slogan, a jingle, or a mascot. Sometimes, a combo of the three. And I think we were better for it. Logos today are, like, shapes. Swooshes and matrices. They’re not even anthropomorphic! (Though if the Nike swoosh talked, I would probably shoot my TV.) Forget about a slogan; you’re lucky to get a single word. Don’t get me started with “But it sells better overseas.” IF FOREIGNERS WANT AMERICAN PRODUCTS, THEY SHOULD COME TO AMERICA.

But anyxenophobia, I’m sure greater minds than mine have calculated the return on investment for something like this:

Versus something like this:

Mascots and spokespeople are expensive, I get it. Jared Fogle requires a lot more handling than the Microsoft Office paperclip (one assumes). Too bad I don’t trust talking office supplies.

0 Fish in a Sea of Diet Coke: