It’s a new era for McDonald’s and they have a new, frightening mascot. Meet “Happy”, the new animated McDonald’s mascot aimed at getting kids to eat healthy food. Happy is terrifying — an animated Happy Meal Box with huge teeth, soul-scanning eyes, a black hole mouth, and judgmental arms — the stuff nightmares are made of. Happy’s role is to scare children into eating right. (As opposed to eating all the other shit on the McDonald’s menu.)
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The fast-food company wants to position Happy as a healthier spokesperson for kids to promote “improved nutrition” choice. The character’s entrance coincides with introduction of Go-GURT Low-Fat Strawberry Yogurt. It, along with apple slices, can replace the kid-size fry as the side in a Happy Meal.
McDonald’s made their reputation on being Morgan Spurlock’s unhealthy nightmare, a wallowing fast food playground for our nation’s obese children. When Spurlock feasted on nothing but McDonald’s for Super Size Me, he gained 25 pounds and his cholesterol levels rose to a dangerous level, as did fatty accumulations in his liver. He experienced mood swings, depression, heart palpitations, and sexual dysfunction. (Ready for the joke?) I call that an “Unhappy Meal!”
McDonald’s decided to was time to rebrand, partially because of Spurlock’s movie, and partially because studies showed that more than one third of children and adolescents were overweight or obese. McDonald’s trying to rebrand itself as a healthy food establishment is like having a gun manufacturer rebrand by selling squirt guns.
Happy is the “ambassador for balanced and wholesome eating.” He is encouraging kids to eat the healthy Happy Meal options: fruits, vegetables, low-fat dairy and water or juice. Happy is especially welcoming of the new Low Fat Strawberry Go-Gurt. Happy does this by having a psychotic stare on his box-face.
McDonald’s has had a long history of creepy mascots. Check out McDonald’s very first Ronald clown mascot—who designed this monstrosity? Did they strap a food tray atop his head and attached a Dixie cup to his nose and then call it a day? Were they promoting fast food or coulrophobia (fear of clowns)?
Check out one of the most disturbing commercials known to humanity: