August 2nd, 2011

McD's 'Smurfs' Promos Tie In Nutrition Element

Marketing Daily

Having just announced its phasing in of healthier Happy Meals, McDonald’s is making sure nutritional elements are included in its massive, global promotions tying in with the new “The Smurfs” movie. The promotions also tie in an eco-friendly theme.

The latest Happy Meals movie partnership launches today (July 29) in North America. It started July 14 in Latin America, and will roll out to the rest of the world between now and November.

McDonald’s’ PR on the promotion stresses that “the Happy Meal fun focuses on the great taste and appeal of fruits and vegetables.”

“McDonald’s is committed to playing a positive role in children’s well-being,” stated Kevin Newell, EVP and global chief brand officer, McDonald’s. “‘The Smurfs’ Happy Meal program delivers great-quality food choices, fun toys and engaging digital content that reinforces important environmental messages.”

In North America, the healthier-food-choices/eco themes are being combined through a partnership with Keep America Beautiful (KAB). Kids are being encouraged to “Smurf the Earth” by choosing Apple Dippers in their Happy Meals. The Dippers’ packaging includes a digital code that when entered at will trigger a tree planting by McDonald’s in forests (including ones devastated by wildfires). The brand will plant up to 100,000 trees.

North American kids are also being offered 16 different Smurf toys with Happy Meals purchases, through Aug. 25.

Global elements of McDonald’s promotional deal with “The Smurfs” producers Columbia Pictures and Sony Pictures Animation include a live-action/computer-animated television commercial; in-restaurant Smurf signage and packaging; and social media updates on Facebook and Twitter.

In addition, Stage M (—McDonald’s’ “online experience” for kids—is offering Smurfs/McDonald’s-branded games, music videos and other activities that include eco-educational elements.

In other regions, components of the promotion include:

* Latin America: McDonald’s restaurants will feature a Smurfs augmented-reality program that “transports kids into the Smurfs’ village.” Augmented-reality imagery will be printed on Happy Meal boxes and used on in-restaurant menu board displays featuring animated “Smurfs” footage, which also will connect customers with the movie experience. Nutrition tie-in: “Clumsy” carrot bags will have “fun- themed” packaging to encourage kids to choose these items in their Happy Meals.

*Brazil: In addition to Smurfs plush toys, kids here can get Smurf figures “with fun functions” with Happy Meal purchases. In-restaurant signage, crew apparel and packaging will feature scenes from the Smurfs’ village. Also, 1 million sunflower packets will be given away.

*Europe: A Smurfs game in which kids can help “Papa Smurf” take care of his flowerpot garden, and other Smurfs-themed content, will be featured across McDonald’s’ European digital properties. Mobile activations, in-restaurant “avatar items” and plush toys are also in this region’s plan.

*United Kingdom: A Smurfs drawing competition will invite kids to receive their own mini Smurf flower garden and get chances to win a Smurfs gardening kit. Smurf plush toys also offered here, and both the carrot bags and “Smurfilicious” fruit bags will bear packaging aimed at motivating kids to choose these healthier Happy Meals options.

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