McDonald's Golden Arches are instantly recognisable to consumers living all over the world. And you'd be forgiven for assuming McDonald's has such a tight grip on the symbol that they're also exactly the same world over. Right? Wrong, actually. And here's why.
There's one place on this planet where the ubiquitous golden arches are nowhere to be seen. In fact, they're blue. Yes, blue. It's hard to believe but the local authority in Sedona, Arizona was able to put its own aesthetic needs above the might of McDonald's, and transform the logo from golden to teal – a claim to fame also held by Paris and Brussels (which have white arches alongside the traditional gold). Who knew folk could use their own ideas of good logo design to bargain with such a heavyweight company?
The story goes all the way back to 1998, when a local business owner wanted to open a branch of Maccy D's, but the shining yellow arches were considered too distracting from the sheer beauty of the setting (desert and red rock, in case you were wondering). So, teal was found as a compromise (it matched the mall next door), and the logo still sits there as the only non-yellow McDonald's sign in the entire world.
And, according to Oddity Central (opens in new tab), it isn't only the colour that was objected to. The usual height of McDonald's signage was prohibited under town rules as well, so they're much lower down than usual, too.
Bemused (and pretty excited) tourists seem to love the novelty, with many posing for pictures under the altered branding (see an example below).
It's surprising that McDonald's was willing to compromise on such an iconic part of its branding (we wonder if they'd relent in more modern times) – and we're sort of sad more towns don't show variations on the golden colour. Since we know from recent advertising campaigns that McDonald's is becoming more willing to mess with its logo, may we suggest a world full of rainbow arches? It would certainly be a talking point.