News in Brief

McDonald's Happy Meals get healthy
May 1, 2003

McDonald’s Happy Meals get healthy

The king of QSR is going on a bit of a health kick to boost flagging Happy Meal sales (which have fallen for three years in a row) and get back into the public’s good graces in the wake of recent high-profile lawsuits that have accused the chain of contributing to obesity in children. The Oak Brook, Illinois-based company has begun to offer more nutritious goodies like fruit, veggies, low-fat yogurt and juice as Happy Meal options, with overseas operations leading the charge. McDonald’s United Kingdom, for example, has sliced fruit on its menu, while McDonald’s Australia serves up a lovely toasted cheese and tomato sandwich with raisins and OJ.

Along with adding more nutritious nosh, McD’s has teamed up with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the World Health Organization to help educate kids and parents about healthy eating and fitness through PSAs (McDonald’s is reissuing its ‘What’s on Your Plate’ PSA about diet and exercise), in-store brochures and other educational outreach efforts. The chain is also setting up an independent advisory council of nutrition and health experts to help guide its future pro-health maneuvers.

Wild Planet tries its hand at free-toy fun

Looking for a new custom premium manufacturer that’s more about play value than price point? Then you should know about Wild Planet Toys. In its second packaged goods cross-promo this year, the San Francisco, California-based company has joined forces with Kool-Aid to give away a Mad Voice Twister to every kid who mails in through to the end of August. A US$10 value, the Mad Voice Twister is a gadget that lets kids play back any recorded voice message with multiple types of distortions and sound effects.

This promo follows on the heels of a similar Q1 mail-in offer that Wild Planet ran with Post Cereal for a Nightspyer mini-telescope that makes after-dark surveillance possible. Wild Planet’s first foray into premium work netted Post one of its highest redemption rates ever.

Carl’s Jr. and Hardee’s get on the Dragon Ball DTV promo bus

FUNimation and Carl’s Jr./Hardee’s are getting together on a kids premium program to promote the launch of The Path to Power, the latest Dragon Ball direct-to-video release in celebration of the property’s 10th anniversary. Running through until mid-June, the Carl’s Jr. program will feature eight collectible Dragon Ball Wish Balls (customized Magic Eight Balls), two character-based toys (the Masher Roshi Squirter and the Shenron Bendy Balancer), 12 interlocking art disks, and a coupon for US$5 off the vid. Hardee’s is doing pretty much the same thing until the end of June, minus the two toys.

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