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McDonald's Suffers Social Media Mockery
Posted on May 21st 2014
The social media crowd can be a tough crowd, as McDonald's is painfully learning. McDonald's just introduced a new mascot for their Happy Meal, aptly named Happy. Here's what McDonalds says about their new mascot, Happy...
OAK BROOK, Ill. (May 19, 2014) – McDonald’s USA is offering guests new reasons to feel good about the fun and the food at McDonald’s with the addition of a new yogurt side option for kids and a Happy Meal brand ambassador. McDonald’s today introduced “Happy,” a new animated Happy Meal character that brings fun and excitement to kids’ meals while also serving as an ambassador for balanced and wholesome eating. Happy will be introduced nationwide May 23, and will encourage kids to enjoy fruits, vegetables, low-fat dairy and wholesome beverages such as water or juice.
Unfortunately, a significant number of the initial responses on social media are to mock Mr Happy, suggesting a better name might be Mr Creepy. Here's one of the first tweets about Mr Happy...
I thought that last episode of #Hannibal was the most horrific thing I've ever seen. That was before the new McDonald's 'mascot'.— Michael Perry (@michaelrperry6) May 19, 2014
And here's another tweet mocking Mr Happy, but also promoting another topic McDonald's would surely like to avoid: that McDonald's fast food is unhealthy (for the record, I think there's nothing wrong with eating Micky Dee's, in moderation of course)...
So did McDonald's blow it? According to McDonald's, Happy has been successfully promoting Happy Meals in France since 2009. But apparently Americans are a different bunch. Well, at least some American adults, who probably shouldn't be eating kid's Happy Meals in the first place. I asked my two kids, 10 and 12 years old, who like eating at McDonald's (when we let them) what they thought of Mr. Happy, and they thought he was cute. Granted, my two kids are a pretty small sample size, but I'm going to guess that the vast majority of kids, who are the target market for Happy Meals, have no problem with Mr Happy. Unfortunately, McDonald's probably didn't anticipate few slightly older unhappy folks out there who are more than happy to mock and criticize on social media. I'm not sure McDonald's could have predicted this, but now they should make sure these unhappy tweeters never get another Happy Meal... To paraphrase Seinfeld's Soup Nazi, "No Happy Meal for You!"
Ah, the social media crowd can be a tough one...