“Do you eat it or does it eat you?”
“Hey @McDonalds is that Gary Busey?”
“Happy Meal Mascot Arrested After Eating Three Children.”
McDonald’s newest mascot has been met with somewhat negative, if not hilarious, responses. “Happy” is a wide-smiling promoter of “balanced and wholesome eating.” However, the giant set of choppers is scaring some people off.
Why can’t the fast food giant seem to nail it or at the very least produce a mascot that isn’t terrifying to the public and children? McDonald’s has been trying for years to reinvent their classic Ronald McDonald character without much success. Last month McDonald’s revealed a new look for Ronald once again. This time Ronald is sporting cargo pants, a red blazer and a bow tie. However, a quick Google search will produce thousands of pictures, videos and references to evil Ronald McDonald and the new look doesn’t seem to be doing anything to change this.
Why even have a mascot? Branding experts like Colleen Fahey claim that there is vast importance in a mascot when branding for moms and children. Parents view them as a positive influence on their children, mascots are able to become a spokesperson with all of the marketing opportunities that go along with this, they celebrate the good job that the parents is doing by using their product and more.
Despite the continuous negative reaction to mascots, McDonald’s seems to remain optimistic. Dean Barrett, senior vice president and global relationship officer stated, “Customers today want to engage with brand in different ways and Ronald will continue to evolve to be modern and relevant.” Hopefully Happy will have a more modern and relevant run than Ronald, but it’s not looking good as many continue to describe his “soul-scanning” eyes and the whole thing as “bad 90’s clip art”.