McDonald’s just applied for a trademark on a new slogan. However, it’s far from the first time the fast-food chain has tried to change up its image with a new trademark.
Earlier in March, McDonald’s filed for a US trademark registration for the phrase “The Simpler the Better,” a filing first noticed by the website Burger Business.
McDonald’s isn’t revealing what the trademark is for, but Burger Business has a few guesses. McDonald’s is testing a “
Simple Delights” menu of items with 300 or fewer calories in San Diego, and has been emphasising the simplification of the menu generally as part of its turnaround process over the last year.
Of course, it could also end up being a phrase that customers never see. Here are a few of the stranger things that McDonald’s has filed a trademark registration for over the years that many fast-food customers may not recall.
1. Lovin’ > Hating
Mathematical symbols didn’t translate too well into trademarks. McDonald’s faced immediate backlash when the Wall Street Journal reported in 2014 that the chain would launch the new catchphrase.
McDonald’s caused quite a stir when the company filed to register “McBrunch” in 2014, with customers wondering if the trademark could signal a move towards breakfast being served later in the day. All-day breakfast tests followed in 2015 — but McDonald’s has since abandoned the trademark.
McDonald’s filed for this term around the same time as McBrunch, presumably as another breakfast marketing campaign, but it was never used in a national campaign.
4. The McEgg
This is actually on the menu in India: a kid’s burger with steamed egg, mayonnaise, chopped onion, and seasoning.
5. The McCruncher
McDonald’s briefly tested a $1 burger with this name, and now uses the trademarked term in Ireland for what Burger Business calls a “
budget burger topped with crispy onions.“
6. ‘I am Asian.’
In an attempt to reach Asian-Americans customers, McDonald’s raised some eyebrows in 2004 with a campaign and website titled “I am Asian,” featuring pictures of Asian Americans enjoying fast food favourites. McDonald’s canceled this trademark in 2012.
7. Chief Happiness Officer
McDonald’s beat the startup trend of naming executives “chief happiness officer,” naming Ronald McDonald CHO in 2003. Companies including Delivering Happiness (an offshoot of Zappos), Google (actual title: Jolly Good Fellow), and Denmark-based consulting company WooHoo have all since adopted the term, reports the Guardian.
8. ‘It’s McDonald’s with a Grown Up Taste’
In 1996, McDonald’s tried to market a more gourmet, “grown-up” burger called the Arch Deluxe. The sophisticated angle didn’t fly with consumers, and the company abandoned the trademark in 1998.
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