To be more contemporary and to better address the health concerns of parents and consumer groups, McDonald’s has dramatically revamped its Happy Meal Web site. And it has a new mascot — Happy — to be used in place of Ronald McDonald for the Happy Meal.
It also has the Happy TV commercial shown below.
Yet, despite McDonald’s efforts, Tom Gara and Julie Garon of the Wall Street Journal believe the retailer’s critics will not be satisfied:
“There’s a new character in the age-old war over marketing fast food to children. Happy, the new mascot for McDonald’s kid-focused Happy Meal, is already getting a cold welcome from health campaigners, who have long targeted Ronald McDonald and the chain’s extensive advertising aimed at children. The introduction of Happy comes as McDonald’s tweaks its children’s menu to add more healthy options and makes a broader attempt to stay relevant in a market where healthy eating is becoming more of a priority. As part of the Happy launch, McDonald’s is adding low-fat yogurt as an option in its kids meals.”
“But Happy seems unlikely to win over those who complain about McDonald’s child-friendly tactics, which include giving away toys with meals, partnering with kids’ movies and cartoon characters and employing a clown and other child-friendly mascots.”