A slightly terrifying Happy Meal box is about to become a new McDonald's mascot. Called 'Happy,' the new brand representative aims to appeal to a child audience and will encourage "improved nutrition" choices. The animated Happy Meal packaging consists of the standard red box and yellow arch handles, plus cartoonish arms and legs, large round eyes and a toothy smile.
While the new McDonald's mascot is well intentioned, it might be more frightening than inviting. In response to the mascot's unveiling, many have taken to Twitter to express their concern Happy will elicit emotions that are anything but. Compared to past McDonald's mascots like the Hamburgler and Grimace, Happy is more simplistic. However, its teeth may result in it being less popular than old favorites.
The New McDonald's Mascot is a Happy Meal Box with a Toothy Smile
1. Child-oriented Branding - Brands are shifting their focus towards appealing more to children with their marketing schemes, often incorporating cartoonish features and bright colors, creating new opportunities for disruptive innovation in child-specific products
2. Minimalistic Mascots - With traditional brand mascots being perceived outdated, companies are shifting towards more simplistic and minimalistic designs that are easy to identify and brand, resulting in innovative opportunities in mascot design
3. Mascot Controversy - Recent trends of terrifying mascots create a new opportunity for brand awareness, especially if companies can approach the design with humor or memeability in mind
1. Fast Food - Restaurants can benefit from redesigning their packaging with children in mind, taking cues from Happy Meal's strategy to appeal to a younger audience
2. Graphic Design - Creative agencies can take on the opportunity to design mascots that are minimalistic and easily recognizable, creating a new frontier for simplistic design, while maintaining the brand's message
3. Social Media Marketing - Companies can take advantage of the controversy surrounding the scary Happy Meal mascot by utilizing humor and meme culture to improve engagement and brand recognition