Australia is the only place McDonalds is called Macca’s AND the only place in the world where you will find a Macca’s sign instead of MacDonald’s.
Take that same sign and plonk it in front of a McDonald’s in Japan and it is unlikely people will recognise its meaning. Except perhaps to Aussies that happen to be in japan at the moment. This would probably be because they would have no ‘cognition’ or knowledge of the Australian tradition or the word’s meaning.
Culture can influence identity and identity can influence culture, but none of it is possible without recognition. It is not enough for something to ‘be’, others must recognise and validate or accept its identity.
How does culture influence identity and why does matter?
The key answer lies in the power people have to create, influence and validate or accept identities. In fact, without others, ‘identity’ is not possible. In a nutshell, we identify ourselves in order to be recognised and when we are ‘recognised’ we can say our identity is validated or accepted. But others can also ‘identify’ us (offering us an identity) and we can choose wether or not to accept that identity (even though at times it seems we might not have that option).
That the public have abbreviated the name of the franchise in the first place, is an obvious testament to the Australian culture. It is typical in Australia to shorten or abbreviate words and names. We are known and recognised for this practice. It’s part of our identity. So John becomes Jono, the postman is a postie, the musician a muso, and McDonalds becomes Macca’s (The list of words goes on, check this video for more!).
At the same time, we can interpret the shortened name as a gesture of the people’s acceptance of the brand. The interesting thing here is that the brand is also using the name to identify itself. Symbolically, in using ‘Macca’s’, the brand has taken on the ‘Australian identity’. This single act by the franchise, validates both Australian Culture and the Australian identity that has been offered to the company by its clients.
Post: Mithzay Pomenta
Image: Mithzay Pomenta