Dynamic Marketing Communiqué

From M to W: Check out how one brand showed it’s LOVING ITS female employees! [Thursdays: Gorillas of Guerrilla Marketing]

April 21, 2022

Miles Everson’s Business Builder Daily speaks to the heart of what great marketers, business leaders, and other professionals need to succeed in advertising, communications, managing their investments, career strategy, and more.

A Note from Miles Everson:

Welcome to today’s edition of “Gorillas of Guerrilla Marketing!”

As someone who’s been working in the business and consulting industries for over 3 decades now, I’ve seen how this type of marketing works wonders for a brand, especially when executed properly.

Guerrilla marketing campaigns are fun, engaging, unique, attention-grabbing, and sometimes inexpensive. If you think this strategy is appropriate for your brand, we recommend you to try it. This will help boost your engagement rates and expand your brand’s reach―whether online or offline!

Let’s talk about a heartwarming guerrilla marketing campaign in today’s article.

Continue reading to know how one fast food brand participated in the celebration of International Women’s Day in 2018. Enjoy reading!

Miles Everson
CEO, MBO Partners
Chairman of the Advisory Board, The I Institute

Gorillas of Guerrilla Marketing

International Women’s Day (IWD) is a global holiday celebrated annually on March 8.

It commemorates the cultural, political, and socioeconomic achievements of women around the world and brings attention to issues such as:

  • Gender equality
  • Reproductive rights
  • Violence and abuse against women

IWD is commemorated in a variety of ways worldwide. It is a public holiday in some countries, while in other places it is observed locally to recognize the accomplishments of women. Some brands even jump in on the bandwagon by creating marketing campaigns and limited edition IWD-inspired products to celebrate the holiday.

One of these brands is…


Photo from Taste of Home

As one of the top 3 fast food chains in the world, McDonald’s is committed to and passionate about advancing gender equality throughout its organization, franchise owners and operators, and supply chain.

In fact, according to Wendy Lewis, McDonald’s Global Chief Diversity Officer and Vice President of Global Community Engagement, women make up 62% of employees at the fast food brand and 6 out of 10 store managers are women.

So… to show its appreciation to all its female staff, McDonald’s partnered with advertising agency We Are Unlimited and launched an IWD-related guerrilla marketing campaign on March 8, 2018.


By flipping its iconic golden arches logo at a female-owned branch in Lynwood, California to form a “W” instead of an “M!”

According to Lewis,

“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. From restaurant crew and management to our C-suite of senior leadership, women play invaluable roles at all levels and together with our independent franchise owners, we’re committed to their success.”

Only the McDonald’s branch in Lynwood flipped its physical golden arches logo during the holiday. Then, one branch in the St. Louis area flipped its logo on an electronic signage.

As for other 100 female-owned franchises across the country, they joined the movement by flipping their logos on their microsites, social media platforms, crew uniforms, placemats, and food packaging.

The Lynwood branch’s flipped golden arches logo only lasted for a day (March 8). Meanwhile, the flipped logos on crews’ uniforms and other marketing collaterals in other branches lasted until the end of March 2018.

The official McDonald’s Twitter account also shared a video of Patricia Williams’—the owner of the fast food brand’s franchise in Lynwood—story.

As shown in the video, she invested all she had to open her first McDonald’s restaurant in 1987. Through patience, hard work, and perseverance, she made her way to the top and as of 2018, she has owned 18 McDonald’s franchises in the US.

Wow… that’s truly a great achievement!

In one part of the video that showed Williams being interviewed for the campaign, she said:

“The opportunity for a mother to show her kids what it’s like to be her own boss, that was invaluable. I was set on changing everyone’s mind. Not just for my family, but for the community around us that we worked so hard to build up.”

At the end of the tribute video, McDonald’s showed its flipped golden arches logo and flashed the words:

“To the millions of women who choose us to be part of their story, today, we celebrate you.”

Very inspiring!

Thank you, McDonald’s for taking the time to recognize the achievements of women all over the world during International Women’s Day 2018!

Was McDonald’s flipped golden arches logo campaign effective?

The IWD-related campaign sparked numerous reactions on social media, with many online users championing McDonald’s for its clever marketing stunt.

In fact, We Are Unlimited’s Chief Creative Officer Toygar Bazarkaya said,

“The 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. 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.”

Here are the results of the fast food chain’s guerrilla marketing campaign:

  • The flipped golden arches logo captured the attention of consumers worldwide and garnered 1.6 billion media impressions during the duration of the campaign.
  • McDonald’s became the most-searched brand on the Internet during International Women’s Day in 2018.
  • The tribute video gained 16,000+ views, 2,000+ likes, and 1,000+ retweets on Twitter a week after it was uploaded.
  • Several websites and media companies featured the McDonald’s campaign in their articles. These companies included Creative Guerrilla MarketingFast CompanyAdWeekUS WeeklyBusiness InsiderTodayReuters, and more.
  • Over 3 million customers received packaging with the flipped golden arches logo after ordering food from McDonald’s during the duration of the campaign.

Clearly, these results show that the fast food chain’s campaign appealed to a lot of consumers in the US and all over the globe.

Great job, McDonald’s and We Are Unlimited!

Aside from customers, employees are an important part of every business.

No brand can expand, operate, or thrive in an ever-changing business environment without the help of dedicated and passionate workers.

That’s why as a business owner or leader, you have to value not only your customers and business partners but also your staff and franchise owners (if your business has them too). Let them know AND feel that they’re valued, recognized, and part of the success of your brand.

You’ll see—the more they feel taken care of, the more they will be motivated to do better in their jobs and contribute to the expansion and achievements of your company.

Take McDonald’s campaign as an example!

By flipping its golden arches logo to celebrate IWD in 2018 and acknowledge the efforts and contributions of female employees, the brand not only captured the attention of people from all over the world but also left a lasting, positive impression on its staff.

Besides, wasn’t it fun and cool to flip the iconic logo to mark an important day?

McDonald’s definitely left a lasting, attractive, and remarkable impression on so many people.

We hope you find this guerrilla marketing campaign awesome and interesting!

Remember: Value your employees and they will value you back by being excellent in serving your customers, interacting with clients, and contributing to the success and growth of your brand.

It’s time to make your own employee appreciation day!

(This article is from The Business Builder Daily, a newsletter by The I Institute in collaboration with MBO Partners.)

About The Dynamic Marketing Communiqué’s
“Thursdays: Gorillas of Guerrilla Marketing”

Jay Conrad Levinson (1984) said that Guerrilla Marketing “works because it’s simple to appreciate, easy to execute, and inexpensive.”

Guerrilla Marketing is unconventional.

Looking beyond the traditional ways of advertising, marketers, and advertisers need to spice things up in order for their brand to have campaigns that not only make an impact but also stick to their target market’s mind.

Guerrilla Marketing usually aims to have direct contact with consumers.

This type of direct contact should spark an emotional reaction that leads to consumers effectively remembering the brand.

It’s about making a big impression and making that impression last a long time (if not forever).

Guerrilla Marketing can be inexpensive.

The effect of this is being able to create a buzz around the brand, and the strategy used to market it. Almost everything is passed around through word-of-mouth.

Word-of-mouth is one of the greatest outcomes and it usually doesn’t cost anything.

This is every business’ or brand’s dream!

Every Thursday, we publish tips, examples, and other useful content on unconventional ways of marketing and promotion.

Learn more about how to grab your target market’s attention and make an amazing first and lasting impression without having to spend a lot of money.

Businesses don’t really need to spend much for a guerrilla campaign. You do not need a big budget to be successful. You just need creativity and a good imagination.

Hope you’ve found this week’s guerrilla marketing insight interesting and helpful.

Stay tuned for next Thursday’s Gorillas of Guerrilla Marketing!


Kyle Yu
Head of Marketing
Valens Dynamic Marketing Capabilities
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