McDonald’s UK has launched a charming new campaign by Leo Burnett, which has been designed to show the ongoing work carried out to adapt the world famous Happy Meal for the better. From reformulating key menu items to offering fruit and books, the “Always Working” campaign brings to life McDonald’s commitment to improving the quality and variety of the much loved Happy Meal. The campaign illustrates the changes made to the Happy Meal as part of the brand’s ten year nutrition strategy. The strategy ensures McDonald’s is always exploring ways to reformulate much-loved menu items, broaden choice and provide access to robust nutritional information to enable customers to make an informed choice. This is particularly relevant for the Happy Meal, for example since 2003 the total salt in a typical Happy Meal (Chicken McNuggets, Fries and Fruit Shoot) has been reduced by 47.4%. Since broadening the children’s drinks range, less than a quarter of Happy Meals are now being sold with a sugary fizzy drink, compared to over half in 2000.
“This campaign illustrates our commitment to continually improving our menu, and nowhere is this more important than with our Happy Meal”
The multi-platform campaign starts with a new TV ad, which uses stop frame animation from director Yves Geleyn at Hornet, to create a miniature world in which workers are busy evolving and improving the Happy Meal. One by one facts about the Happy Meal are brought to life; salt is removed down a rubble chute and transported away on a truck, a book is lowered by a crane into the Happy Meal box to illustrate the millions of books that McDonald’s has distributed, oil is hand pumped out of the box by two workers as saturated fat is reduced, and a Hamburger made with 100% British and Irish beef is wrapped up by the workers below. Thirty crew, 12 weeks, six sets, plus hundreds of 3D-printed and hand-painted miniature characters were used in the clip, which was shot on Hornet’s stage in Brooklyn.
Always Working on our Happy Meal
McDonald's Head of Marketing, Steve Hill said: “Many parents still think of their own experiences of a Happy Meal when they consider their options for eating out with the kids. Our research showed that the vast majority of mums and dads were unaware of the great strides we’ve made in reformulating and evolving the contents of the Happy Meal box. This campaign illustrates our commitment to continually improving our menu, and nowhere is this more important than with our Happy Meal. From the introduction of Organic Milk and Water, Fruit Bags and Carrot Sticks to the distribution of over 43 million books, the Happy Meal has changed, and will continue to change and we wanted to tell that story to parents across the UK.” Hornet director Yves Geleyn, added: “McDonald’s wanted to communicate how they’re always working to make a Happy Meal better, which can be told quite functionally, but we wanted to tell the story with some charm. It’s filmed almost entirely using stop motion, which I love. A lot of miniature work is now done with CGI. Stop motion possesses an authenticity, a human touch, that adds so much to a story. It allows you to create something whimsical that is grounded in something authentic.”
“The Happy Meal has changed, and will continue to change and we wanted to tell that story to parents across the UK”
The advert hopes to relay to parents the important decisions that McDonald’s has made, and crucial changes it continues to make, to help make the Happy Meal better. It's a delightful spot that brings to mind the retro charms of old British children's TV shows such as Trumpton and the Moomins. The ad will be supported by press, in-store and six short social films telling more in depth Happy Meal stories and driving customers to the Good to Know hub; a platform which provides customers with further, interesting content that covers a breadth of McDonald’s food stories.