McDonald’s Flipped Its Famed Golden Arches for International Women’s Day

The stunt is garnering mixed reactions

McDonald's flipped its M to a W at this Lynwood, Calif. location. McDonald's
Headshot of Katie Richards

McDonald’s made a major play to celebrate International Women’s Day this year, taking its famed golden arches and turning them upside down across social media and at an owner-operated location in Lynwood, Calif.

“In celebration of women everywhere, and for the first time in our brand history, we flipped our iconic arches for International Women’s Day in honor of the extraordinary accomplishments of women everywhere and especially in our restaurants,” Wendy Lewis, McDonald’s chief diversity officer, said in a statement.

Lewis also penned a medium post on the subject of women’s rights.

Outside of the one physical location where McDonald’s has flipped its logo upside down to celebrate women everywhere, the brand is also rolling out limited time “W” packaging and crew shirts and hats across 100 U.S. locations.

McDonald’s also released a short video honoring women who have played a part in the brand’s history. The spot focuses on Patricia Williams, owner of the McDonald’s restaurant where the logo has been temporarily flipped upside down.

The move has sparked a lot of debate on social media, with many championing McDonald’s for its clever marketing, done in partnership with agency We Are Unlimited.

“This idea is as simple as it is bold, asking for nothing less than the impossible. I couldn’t be more proud of our clients for making this a reality, and the whole team is honored to help bring the idea to life. On this day this is an amazing way to celebrate the women of McDonald’s, both present and past, whose contributions have made the company what it is today,” Toygar Bazarkaya, chief creative officer of We Are Unlimited, said in a statement.

Others on the web are a bit more skeptical of the move, with some saying McDonald’s is co-opting feminism to sell burgers and ignoring a multitude of issues female employees face at the company.

CLIENT: McDonald’s U.S.
U.S. Chief Marketing Officer: Morgan Flatley
Senior Vice President, Corporate Relations: Jano Cabrera
Sr. Director, U.S. Marketing, Brand and Marketing Content: Julie Wenger
Sr. Director, U.S. Communications, PR and Brand Reputation: Molly Starman
Director, U.S.  Marketing, Customer Engagement & Social Experience: Paul Matson
Director, Public Affairs, Corporate Communications: Katie Condon
Manager, U.S. Marketing, Digital Campaigns and Content: Emily Charron
Manager, U.S. Communications, Brand and Employer Reputation: Lauren Snyder
Manager, Corporate & U.S. Customer Experience & Engagement, Corporate Communications: Jamie Kennedy
Supervisor, U.S. Communications, Brand Strategy and Employer Reputation: Britt Collett
Supervisor, U.S. Marketing, Brand and Content: Faizan Tahir

Chief Creative Officer, DDB North America: Ari Weiss
Chief Creative Officer, We Are Unlimited: Toygar Bazarkaya
Chief Executive Officer, We Are Unlimited: Mark Mulhern
Chief Delivery Officer, Denis Budniewski
Chief Production Officer, Jon Ellis
Executive Creative Director, John Hansa
Creative Director, Vic Sanchez
Creative Director, Jon Morgan
Senior Art Director, Emily Walton
Senior Copywriter, Sarah Uchison
Copywriter, Liza Rush
Art Director, Caitlin VanderKlok
Art Director, Georgia Taylor
Copywriter, Sarah Dembkowski
Videographer/Photographer, Mason Adams
Senior Integrated Producer, Otto Linwood
Content Producer, Nikki Calabrese
Group Business Director, Chris Bergen
Group Business Director, Melanie Behling
Account Executive, Jessa Gianotti
Account Executive, Ellese Meyer
Senior Social Strategy Lead, Emily Bader
Senior Narrative Strategist, Carly Starratt
Associate Director Social Strategy, Daniela Vieira

Executive Vice President, Chief Creative Officer: Cosmo Campbell
Executive Creative Director: Dean Lee
Senior Art Director: John Larigakis

Executive Producer, Preston Lee
Director, Elle Ginter
Producer, Tyler Boylan
Director Photography, Allison Anderson 

EDITORIAL: Arcade Edit
Managing Partner, Damian Stevens
Head of Production, Kirsten Thon-Webb
Executive Producer, Crissy DeSimone
Senior Producer, Rebecca Jameson
Editor, Kim Bica
Assistant Editor, Dean Miyahira and Andy Trecki

AUDIO POST: We Are Unlimited
Audio Engineer, Paxson Helgesen

Creative Directors / Partners – Jonah Hall & Kevin Lau
Executive Producer: Sabrina Elizondo
Head of Production: Melody Alexander
Senior VFX Producer: Emily Avoujageli
Colorist: Miles Kinghorn
Lead Flame Artist: Brian Shneider
Flame Assist: Brandon Harden & Brack Hightchew

Sr. Vice President, Creative Director, Jim Eby
Sr. Vice President, Account Director, Ursula Ostrom
Account Supervisor, Kathryn Fiedler
Art Director, Megan VanDagens

DESIGN: Boxer Brand Design
V.P., Creative Director, Diana Samper
Account Director, Lisa Burgess
Senior Account Executive: Brian Torbik

MEDIA: Resolution Media
Associate Director, Social Media: Eric Dornbrook
Associate Director: Samantha Bartucci
Social Media Supervisor: Maura McNaulty
Social Media Strategist: Lexi Wozny

@ktjrichards Katie Richards is a staff writer for Adweek.