"McDonalds hired Louis Cheskin, a prominent design consultant and psychologist. He argued against eliminating the golden arches, claiming they had great Freudian importance in the subconscious mind of consumers. According to Cheskin, golden arches resembled a pair of large breasts: ‘mother McDonald’s breasts.’ It made little sense to lose the appeal of that universal, yet All American symbolism. The company followed Cheskin’s advice and retained the golden arches, using them to form the M in McDonald’s"
—Eric Schlosser, Fast Food Nation

I’ve been fascinated with that revelation since reading Fast Food Nation, and in advertising in general since forever, so I couldn’t help but notice when Dunkin Donuts unveiled a simplified logo recently. Like the McDonalds arches, this logo might also conjure up certain associations of great Freudian importance:

How genius is that? First of all, those letters are pretty much explicitly shaped like boobs. Perhaps not when they are part of the entire title ‘Dunkin Donuts’, but when it’s just the twin letters, uh, lifted and separated like that—oh yeah. I’m not just looking at a Rorschach test here and revealing my true colors, right? This is real. And not only do they look like cartoon boobs, but the initials just happen to be D & D, as in double-D, as in hip-hop’s most favorite cup-size. It’s like a freshman graphic design class assignment—“draw the word ‘melt’ so that the letters are actually melting”—but dirtier.

So the next time you hear John Goodman’s boston creme-tinged voice in an advertisement, and you feel compelled to grab some DDs for yourself, just be aware of the associative funhouse you’re entering.



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