We're big fans of McDonald's marketing efforts here at Creative Bloq, and we've highlighted numerous campaigns by the fastfood chain over the years. All the same, we can't help but be impressed by the cheek of an upstart vegan restaurant brand that's turning the golden M's marketing upside down – in some cases quite literally.
The branding looking looks incredibly similar to McD's, but instead of Happy Meals, we have Frowny Meals and instead of Big Macs, Big Chucks. Almost as it it were goading McDonald's for a response, the brand's now made its boldest move yet, opening a second branch directly opposite a McDonald's in Sutter Street near Union Square, San Francisco. (If you're looking for inspiration for your own branding, see our pick of the best graphic design books).
The vegan fastfood brand Mr Charlie's has been making waves with its marketing since it opened a restaurant in Los Angeles last year. With a very familiar-looking red and gold colour palette and an upside-down smile, it quickly got noticed due a cheeky resemblance to one of the world's biggest fastfood brands.
Describing itself as “An Exhibition of Plants”, the restaurant sells plant-based burgers called Big Chucks made with Impossible Foods patties and Frowny Meals that include fries.
We normally don't recommend imitation as a means to successful branding, but we have to admire Mr Charlie's nerve. It seems to have got away with it so far, but we do wonder if the expansion might now get McDonald's attention. We'll stay tuned to see if satire stands up as a defence. Now what toy do I get with my Frowny Meal?