McDonald’s apologizes for splitting golden arches to portray social distancing

While brands are continuing to respond to the spread of coronavirus — many using their platform to highlight the importance of social distancing — McDonald’s delivery fell flat with consumers.

The marketing gimmick for McDonald’s Brazil, produced by advertising agency DPZ&T, saw the Golden Arches being split apart with the two halves apart from each other. The image appeared across all of McDonald’s Brazil’s social media accounts to convey the idea of social distancing. The fast-food chain told customers that the updated emblem was meant to signify the need to stay “separated for a moment so that we can always be together”.

Unfortunately, it turned out to be a bad move. Social media users immediately criticized the stunt, expressing that this wasn’t its only move to respond to the coronavirus outbreak. Customers argued that there were more important steps to take instead of amending a logo, such as giving employees paid sick leave while its restaurants are shut down to contain COVID-19.

“Shame on everyone [for] turning this pandemic into an award brief,” one Twitter user wrote.

Since then, McDonald’s Brazil has apologized and removed all traces of the campaign, telling the New York Post, “As a brand that operates in nearly 120 countries, we share a collective responsibility to help our communities in times of need.”

The company also apologized “for any misunderstanding of the intent to remind our customers and communities on the importance of social distancing during these uncertain times.” What are your thoughts on the separation of the golden arches?