Launching a new mascot is always a fraught process – often these things end up being utterly forgettable, and quickly sink into the swamp of obscurity.
However, right now the nice people at global cow-meat machine McDonald’s are probably thinking hard about the supposed demerits of not being talked about. Because this week they launched their new Happy Meal mascot – and the response was not kind:
Just in case Twitter users were in any doubt over how to feel, the site helpfully linked some of the top stories about the launch directly under Maccy-D’s official tweet. Gotta love that deep social integration.
In fairness to McDonald’s, it has gamely resisted the temptation to pull the plug on Happy, or to try to remain aloof and above the horrified shrieks of laughter coming from the stands. Instead, the company is trying to roll with the punches, and make the most of the publicity.
First, it acknowledged Happy’s initial reception had not been quite as smooth as hoped:
— McDonald’s (@McDonalds) May 21, 2014
And today it tried its best to pluck at our grease-hardened heart-strings, anthropomorphising Happy, and tackling the criticism head-on:
Meanwhile at Happy Headquarters… pic.twitter.com/ljcoUIb5PF
— McDonald’s (@McDonalds) May 20, 2014
So, kudos, McDonald’s – fair play for not taking yourself too seriously, and pushing on regardless. This is how you win at social – not with flashy “engagement” campaigns, but by staying cheerful and adapting to a situation as it develops.
Happy is still pretty darn scary, though.