Everyone knows the famous golden arches of McDonald’s. Wherever you go in the world, you can be sure you’ll spot that big yellow M, calling out to you with promises of juicy burgers, greasy fries, and gallons of soda pop.
But did you know that somewhere out there is a lone blue M? That’s right, blue!
Our Japanese reporter went to check it out and see if this was for real.
The Sedona Branch
The restaurant in question can be found in the good ol’ US of A in Sedona, Arizona. Sedona is famous around the world as a spiritual spot with beautiful scenery and rejuvenating power. Is this tiny town set between towering red rocks really the location of the infamous blue M?!
Appearing like a mirage – the blue M
After arriving in Sedona, we drove out to the local McDonald’s. And there it was. The shining… Blue Arches?! Eggshell blue, sky blue, azure, turquoise… people might have different names for it, but there’s no doubt about it – it’s blue.
What was wrong with yellow?
But why has this particular branch got a differently colored logo? There’s actually a perfectly down-to-earth reason for it.
When McDonald’s was thinking about opening a branch in Sedona, they were confronted by the strict regulations of the area concerning the local scenery. The city simply did not want to ruin its picturesque desert views with a glaring, garish yellow M. To get round this, the company came up with the idea of changing the color of the logo.
There were other problems they had to deal with too, such as a ban on tall buildings, which meant they had to place the logo low down. McDonald’s signs are usually visible from far far away, stuck up on a huge pole, but not here in Sedona.
But it was the changing of the color of the M that was the biggest concession – this was the first time ever, in the whole world, that McDonald’s had done this. It was a big deal for McDonald’s to make such a change to the famous ‘face’ of their brand.
Fast Food Tourism
Since then, the McDonald’s branch has become one of the town’s tourist spots. Despite this particular McDonald’s store being designed not to stand out, the changes have actually brought it even more attention. People from all over come to have their photo taken in front of the blue M. Unfortunately there’s no special menu (no funky-coloured burgers) and, except for the blue M, it’s exactly the same as any other McDonald’s store.
It may be just his imagination, but our reporter did feel like Sedona’s blue M store had a much more relaxing atmosphere than your average McDonald’s. It could have been the gorgeous scenery that did it, or maybe it was the mysterious power of the world’s one and only blue M.
McDonald’s Sedona Branch, 2380 Arizona 89A, Sedona, AZ 86336, USA
▼ The unobtrusive M sits close to the ground, minding its own business.
▼ Sedona’s famously beautiful red sandstone rock formations.