McDonald’s celebrates ‘Golden M’ hairdo with virtual barbershop


  • McDonald’s Sweden this month ran a promo around the Golden M, the hairstyle promoted in the 1990s that resembles the chain’s Golden Arches logo.
  • From Dec. 5-6, the chain ran the M Barber Shop, where customers might get free virtual visits with a hairdresser to learn how to offer themselves the Golden M at home. The appointments with influencer hairdresser Adam Lukacs– who was working from a Stockholm storefront that could be seen by passersby– sold out within two hours, Fox News reported.
  • The effort tapped into nostalgia for a hairstyle originally promoted by the similarity Leonardo DiCaprio and David Beckham, in addition to new interest produced by K-pop stars BTS. In addition to the virtual visits, McDonald’s Sweden launched The Golden M Detector, a mobile app that utilized artificial intelligence and device knowing to reward consumers with a Big Mac if it detected Golden M hairstyles in selfies, per Ad Age.


The Golden M push by McDonald’s Sweden playfully tapped into a restored interest in an iconic hairdo, at a time when some consumers are giving up in-person beauty parlor visits or cutting their own hair due to the coronavirus pandemic. The visits selling out quickly demonstrates that there is interest in at-home experiential activations as the pandemic continues.

“When we recognized that people were wearing our Golden Arches, we had to act,” Staffan Ekstam, the marketing director at McDonald’s Sweden, told Fox News. “We began the M Barber Shop not just to safeguard our Golden M, however likewise to declare it when and for all. The hair salon is a celebration devoted to our beloved ambassadors– an assisting hand to guide them on how to keep their M’s in perfect trim, even when we can’t move around as easily as we usually can.”

In addition to the virtual visits, the chain extended the reach of the effort with its mobile Golden M Detector, using AI and ML to identify the hairstyle and offer free Huge Macs to people sporting the hairstyle. For those that didn’t have the haircut already or lost out on the virtual appointments, a video tutorial extends the project’s reach and might motivate more fans to wear the Golden Arches in their hair.

McDonald’s this month also handed out complimentary McRib sandwiches to the very first 10,000 people who showed on social media that they shaved their facial hair after No-Shave November, a yearly month-long event that raises money for cancer research, prevention, and education. These efforts come as the chain announced strategies to enhance its marketing investment for the rest of 2020 as it attempts to recover from lost sales arising from pandemic-related lockdowns this year.

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