Can the Golden Arches and Happy Meals actually make you sad? Yes, according to a new study in the Social Psychological and Personality Science journal, “Too Impatient to Smell the Roses: Exposure to Fast Food Impedes Happiness,” the results of which illustrate the idea that logos convey much more than just a brand’s visual identity — they can also impact and alter our emotional state of mind.
The study set out to examine how people react to the logos of fast food restaurants — places generally associated with speed and efficiency — and hypothesized that these logos would actually produce feelings of impatience and a decreased ability to savor enjoyment.
To test this theory, three experiments were conducted using the McDonald’s logo, and the results showed that exposure to the logo and other images of various menu items triggered feelings of impatience and stifled the enjoyment that comes from experiencing works of art and music.
While the authors of the study are looking to do more conclusive research on the effects of “symbols of efficiency,” these initial findings underscore the power of logos and just how important it is to make sure your business’s logo is sending all the right messages.