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In New French Ads for McDonalds, Big Macs Go Flat

The world is going flat. Last summer, Jony Ive pared down Apple’s (AAPL) iOS to one-dimensional icons, eschewing drop shadows and textures. Now McDonald’s (MCD) plans to plaster Paris with minimalist renderings of its most recognizable menu items.

The campaign comes from TBWA\Paris, which previously launched a “no logo” campaign for the fast-food giant that featured close-up images of Mickey D’s “Big 6” staples, sans golden arches. This time, a small rendering of the mark appears beside pictograms of the same menu staples—Big Mac, fries, cheeseburger, sundae, McNuggets, and Filet-o-Fish.

Lee Clow, the agency’s global director and co-creator of Apple’s famous “Think Different” slogan, applauded the campaign in a hand-drawn note to his French cohorts: “So simple, so beautiful,” he writes. “Wish I did it!”

The print ads are scheduled to appear on more than 2,700 outdoor displays, starting on June 2. The TV ad follows a group of twentysomethings as they bike through city streets to post graffiti of the emblems on billboards.

Gone are the days, the campaign suggests, when such youths would have protested outside a MacDo, as the French call it. France has become the chain’s No. 2 market, after the U.S., with 1,300 outlets bringing in more than $5 billion in annual sales. Vive Le Big Mac!

Lanks is the design editor of

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