Now, putting aside the negative associations I have with Wendy’s after watching countless documentaries featuring Americans shovelling fast food into their own mouths, and in some cases, those of their tiny children – I actually quite liked their branding.
Perhaps I am making generalisations; it is a testament to the popularity of fast-food brands that, as shown in a clip from Supersize me, many American children will recognise McDonald’s face before that of George Washington, and Jesus.
Yes you heard me. Jesus.
Not that I’m a Christian, but the movement from the ‘last meal’ to the ‘fast meal’ (yes, I’m punning, God forgive me) is one that I’m not entirely comfortable with.
And I’ve heard that Jesus is quite a big deal in some places.
This may be due to the fact that McDonald’s brand has been catered towards children ever since the introduction of the clown Ronald McDonald in 1963. His (slightly creepy, in my opinion) face instilled brand loyalty in the youngest of consumers, encouraging them to come back again and again – eventually bringing their own children with them in turn.
In contrast, as you can see from the Supersize video above, Wendy’s is not as identifiable with children as McDonald’s – partially because of the difference in their approach towards branding.
Wendy’s has been lagging behind in terms of bagging the young’uns – drawing more on the (granted, charming) idea that the original cartoon girl was based on the childhood image of the Founder’s daughter – Wendy Thomas.
This unique standpoint was drawn on multiple times, including their advert for ‘Dave’s Hot and Juicy burger’ where she is pictured holding the new calorie-laden wonder, drawing questions about her suitability as a spokesperson.
This focus by Wendy’s on the ‘old child’ seemed to overshadow their marketing attempts to entrap the ‘new child’, which, to be fair, is their target audience.
But now, Wendy’s has unveiled their new brand. And despite the fact that I (as part of the tiny minority) was actually rather attached to the traditional, cowboy-style saloon sign onto which Wendy’s freckly face was superimposed (perhaps because it reminds me of the standard whiskey bottle), I did appreciate that perhaps it was too ‘bitty’ and so simplifying it would help to solidify the brand’s image in its consumer’s minds.
Wendy’s decided that whatever happened – they wanted to keep the girl, keep the colour red and maintain the ‘wave’ effect with their font. Everything else has changed. And gosh darn it – I may just be warming to it!
All of the original features and emphasis has remained intact; it has simply been nicely re-rendered.
All of the gumpf has been removed, Wendy has been exaggerated, her features and highlighting made more 3D, modern and identifiable (especially the conversion from the ‘bar maid’ collar to something a little more 21st century), and the font enlarged and streamlined.
I don’t know about you, but to me, this screams for children to flock to it, their slavering faces already covered with drool – their eyes filled with images of a socking great burger.
My only annoyance in terms of the logo is that darned little apostrophe, which seems the same everywhere I look – a different colour?!?
So much as I disagree with the explosion of these chains and the effect on society in general; I must admit – they make a bloomin’ good logo.