Wednesday, April 25, 2012

McDonald's Peddling Olympic Happy Meals

What? Did you somehow think that the official "restaurant" of the Olympics wouldn't use that status to encourage kids to eat there more frequently or to teach them that it's all about moving more, and not about eating less?

Apparently now if you buy a Happy Meal in the UK, you get a pedometer to track your hops, skips and jumps in order to "help" the kid-friendly Olympic mascots get to the Olympic games (video posted down below, email subscribers need to visit the blog to watch).

Aside from the obvious cache of Olympic co-branding this campaign really typifies what's in it for McDonald's. Co-branding allows McDonald's to easily spread the idea that "movement" and "exercise" are what are required for health and silently imply that dietary discretion isn't necessary if you're active. But maybe that's just jaded, cynical, old, me, reading into messaging, though there's no denying that Olympic co-branding allows McDonald's to promote meals out and further the normalization of fast food.

Shifting the blame from dietary intake to dietary output and/or normalizing meals out for children all the while tapping in to the incredibly powerful emotions associated with the Olympic games - that's a gold medal win for McDonald's marketers.