Best of 2018 Print/OOH/Design No. 3: McDonald's golden arches directs travelers to the nearest restaurant

Canadian Campaign by Cossette Could Be Adapted Globally

Published On
Jun 19, 2018

Editor's Pick

Through New Year’s on Creativity, we’ll be counting down the best work and ideas of the year in various categories: TV/Film/Branded Content, Print/Out of Home/Design/Experiential and Digital/Integrated/Social.

At No. 3 in Print/OOH/Design, McDonald’s and Canadian agency Cossette proved the power of simplicity in this clever billboard campaign that turned portions of the restaurant’s iconic golden arches into roadmaps directing travelers to nearby restaurants. The campaign went on to earn one of the 2018 Cannes Lions Outdoor Grand Prix.

Original story:

McDonald's has adapted its Golden Arches logo into directional signage for its restaurants, in a campaign out of Canadian creative agency Cossette.

The inspiration for the "Follow the Arches" campaign came from noticing that all over Canada, there were different road signs for McDonald's resturants, but the branding was inconsistent. Cossette created a billboard style based on the actual logo, directing drivers to follow the curves of the "M" in the arches in whichever direction they need to go.

The out-of-home campaign consists of four billboards (three static and one digital) in high traffic areas across downtown Toronto and the Greater Toronto Area. However, Cossette hints that it could be adapted worldwide. "With minimal text and a creative use of the brand's colours and logo, 'Follow the Arches' not only translates on a national, but a global scale," says Peter Ignazi, chief creative officer at Cossette, in a statement.


The campaign went on to win a Cannes Lions outdoor Grand Prix at the 2018 Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity

Jury president Chris Garbutt, Chief Creative Officer at TBWA, said the jury had been deliberating until 1:30 a.m. He said much of the work was "facing something head-on," citing work like Burger King's trolling of McDonald's (done with Grabarz & Partner). He called McDonald's work with Canadian agency Cossette "pure and iconic."

The outdoor category is one in which jurors can pick two Grand Prix winners, since it's tough to compare something like a poster with a more complex outdoor installation. McDonald's won alongside Comedy Central's "Donald J. Trump Presidential Twitter Library."

"I think the best outdoor [work] stops you in your tracks and it telegraphically pulls you in and transcends language, in a way," he said.