McDonald’s let Twitter followers in on a happy little addition last week when they released a photo of their new mascot. Bulging eyeballs and big smiling teeth, a Happy Meal box appropriately named “Happy” made his debut to the internet. This fictional character was created as “an ambassador for balanced and wholesome eating” pushing the idea that kids will be happy to choose healthier options like apples and yogurt in place of french fries in their McDonald’s boxes. These good intentions that began in France in 2009 have sparked mainly negative jokes about the new face of the fast-food chain in the United States, targeting the red box and making him the laughing stock of social media.
This is not the first time McDonald’s mascot has gotten a makeover, though. Lately, the golden arches have began to push their brand as more of an “upscale dining experience” rather than the grab-and-go greasy meals known since the restaurant opened in 1940.
While we appreciate the effort, there is one tiny detail McDonald’s Happy Meal marketing strategists just aren’t getting when it comes down to changing their brand: nobody’s loving it.
The reason big brands become big brands is because of an early well-established mission for the company.
While many newer brands spend years playing around with multiple logos, taglines and purpose, brands like McDonald’s may be better off just sticking to what they know.
Not to say they haven’t tried multiple marketing outlets for switching it up a little, but when your restaurant feeds over 68 million people per day, why bother?
Other fast-food corporations have tried to match the efforts of McDonald’s but aren’t even close when it comes to the the global takeover of the golden arches. Brands like Coca-Cola and McDonald’s do well in their classic familiar bubbles but modern chains may need to switch-up their image to keep up with society.
Several years ago after multiple strings of bad press and negative reviews, the pizza chain Domino’s decided to give their brand a facelift. Commercial after commercials were made since the change in 2009 regarding Domino’s “new and inspired pizza recipe” to help boost sales. In the ads, Domino’s blames itself for the less-than-average tasting pizza and costly delivery fees and announces its new upgrades through offers and giving an overall sense of “personal care” to the customer. Changing the entire marketing approach benefited Domino’s so much, the company saw a 14.3 percent in same-store sales within the first quarter.
So what does this mean for older brands trying to boost their image? Is it a gamble for classic companies but not new ones? Only time will tell if McDonald’s attempted image will truly take-off the way they would like and if “Happy” the mascot will stay around for generations of consumers.
Velocity Agency is a digital marketing and advertising firm specializing in digital and internet marketing & advertising, print, web design, graphic design, film, and HD video promotion and post-production. Velocity serves clients all over the United States from our Metairie, LA office just outside of New Orleans by strategically implementing proprietary tools and techniques to get you the most conversions for your business through lead generation, cost-per-acquisition, and top line revenue.