Green is the new red

While I was walking in Helsinki Centre, suddenly a big yellow ‘M’ appeared. We all know this letter, and where it stands for. But did you know that this color was not chosen at random? And do you know why it is green now and not red?


Retrieved from here

McDonald’s is responsible for obesity

We all know that fastfood is not healthy, this proved Morgan Spurlock in his documentary Super Size Me. It is about a guy that ate McDonald’s every day. After this documentary there was a lot of negative publicity about McDonald’s. People kept saying that McDonald’s is responsible for obesity in the US.

symbolism_of_color__using_color_for_meaningPsychology of colors

Color influences us (Birren, 2016). In kindergarten you will learn that a heart is red. Red is the color of love. Any unique color has its own meaning. In the color emotion guide red means ‘excitement’ and ‘youthful’. Yellow means ‘optimism’. Green is the color for ‘peace, growth and health’.

           Retrieved from here 

McDonald’s goes green

That is the reason why. McDonald’s wanted to rebrand itself by focusing on corporate social responsibility. For example, they have already lowered their CO2 emission.document6 Since 2008 the fast food concern only uses green ener
gy. Besides this, they are also using more biological products to prepare their meals and so on. The color green matches perfectly with their new vision. That is why they changed their logo, website and their restaurants. Their
image has improved because of this rebranding. Just like they wanted.

   Retrieved from here

             In conclusion

bericht_bewerken__modern_buyer_behaviour_-_wordpress_comMcDonald’s was able to change their brand in an unique way. I think it is an unique way because I did not think that this would actually work. Because for me it doesn’t matter whether the logo is red, green, yellow or blue, it is about the food. But maybe I am wrong, maybe color is influencing me more than I would think.

Does color influence you?


F. Birren (2016). Color Psychology And Color Therapy; A Factual Study Of The Influence of Color On Human Life. Pickle Partners Publishing.
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13 Responses to Green is the new red

  1. haenakim says:

    Interesting post! Actually I didn’t even recognized that McDonald changed the color of their symbol. As I don’t go there often so not very interested in. Thanks for letting me know about that!
    I don’t know exactly how much colors relate to our life but it seems that we are very influenced by them and even dominated in every single life.

  2. ariannalosano says:

    Hi! I haven’t even thought about the changing of colour before, so i would say it doesn’t influence me at all! I am aware that they are developing some corporate social responsibility strategies: in italy mc donald’s organizes some sport event and its testimonials are olympic athletes! Even if it tries to promote a healthy lifestyle, for me it is still a fast food which sells really fat and unhealthy products!

    • Foss says:

      Hey Arianna, I did not know that Mc Donalds even has some advertisement during sport events! For me it is also still a fast food restaurant. It is ‘greenwashing’. So this means, when a company uses the perception to be healthy. I think there are a lot of companies that does these kind of things don’t you think?

  3. anneruok says:

    Hey Foss! Like the previous comment states, I haven’t noticed the change in McDonal’s logo either! But maybe it’s because of the fact I’m not their loyal customer. Still, I have thought about colors in logos: why so many insurance companies have blue in their logos? Or why busy-like places as airports uses blue in their signs? It must be to create trust and calm atmosphere into their customers’ minds.

  4. I never thought about McDonalds colour change in relation to changing the brand image but you make great points. It was quite a risk for McDonalds to change their notorious red and yellow colouring but clearly it has paid off! Great post.

  5. zzorko15 says:

    Like others, I also didn`t notice the change in their colour and as clearly I´m not the only one, maybe they should promote this more often. I also didn`t know that they use only green energy, so I would definitely advise them to be more aggressive with promoting their social responsibility.
    About influences of colours, the one reason that this works in my opinion is that we are thought in schools (or maybe somewhere else) what every colour means, represent. But what if we wouldn`t know that green represents peace? Would it still have impact on us?

  6. verabelinskaya says:

    Really nice post and of course I did not notice the change of the color logo either. I think it is great they are working towards improvement however they are who they are because they are a fast food chain and if they shift too far away from it could lose its value and what they stand for. For example when I want something fat and unhealthy, I go to McDonalds because they provide me with that value and at the end of the day I do not choose based on how environmentally friendly they are but the taste.

  7. claudiaggs says:

    Hi Foss,
    I liked a lot your post because i think the same way as you. I also matter about where the food comes from, bu it is a fact that the change of image of the big M maybe has made a harder impact in me that I would rather like to admit. I lived in the States for a year and I can tell that the story of the Documentary Super Size Me it´s true. Even though I still think that McDonald´s is doing a really good job in the image change.
    Thank you for your post!

  8. belenlujang says:

    Hi Foss! Due to the embedding of sustainability in the business theme, the green color has become fashionable for a few years in branding. And, according to “Color Study, Perceptions and Attitudes” by Joe Hallock, he discovered that this color scored better in the categories of safety and confidence. Clearly it is seen that McDonalds tries to convince the consumers that its products are “natural” but, in my case, I do not care this brand turnes green, red or yellow; I will always appreciate this brand as junk food.

  9. maximefr85 says:

    Hi Foss ! I’m not really agree with your conclusion. I knew this story of color change. In my opinion, color has had a real impact on the unconscious of people. Green has “softened” the image of McDonald’s. We can also note this change of image when we enter in the fast food: we smell less odor of fat, the decoration is more refined and modern, the floor is less dirty and so on… All these details attract more easily the customer .

  10. janetfredekind says:

    Hey @foss97! First of all thank you very much for your post, I really enjoyed it and I also have to say that I have not really noticed the change of the colour until I read your post. To be honest in my head Mc Donald’s is still red – yellow. However, Mc Donald’s has really changed over the years, the brand became more commercial then it already had been. Also, and I think everyone thinks that at some point, it does not matter in what country you are, you will always see one of those Yellow M’s lurking around. I would have loved you to take your thoughts a little further but all in all, it was a really good blog post.

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