Kids are loving it


A happy meal

The Happy Meal contains the main item, typically a hamburger, or cheeseburger. It includes a side item like french fries, apple slices, or a salad, and a drink, milk, or juice.

Target Audience

McDonald's aims to offer a friendly, fun environment for everyone to enjoy. A happy meal including toys specifically aims at children. In other words, it is specially prepared for kids, although it doesn't matter if an adult buys a happy meal. There are many reasons why children are targeted by a happy meal:

  • Happy meals include an attractive, and popular toy.
  • Happy meals come in various quantities, (size)
  • The packing is engaging to many kids. (bright colours)

Benefits and Techniques

What is a benefit of including a toy in a happy meal?

Children are more likely to choose a healthy meal over a less healthful meal when only healthy meals are paired with a toy. Therefore, if a meal is paired with toys, there are more chances of kids choosing it, and slowly kids will be loving the meals because of toys, and the business will be in profit.

What strategies are used to advertise the happy meal?

  • Bright lights
  • attractive colours, and shapes
  • Engaging toys
  • weasel words

Pretty often, toys are used to advertise happy meals. Advertisers use toys because, many children easily get attracted to them, as once kids are attracted to a specific toy, they tend to buy the whole meal paired with the toy. In addition, advertisers are required by law to tell the truth in their advertisements. However, they tend to use certain words or phrases that are meant to help mislead viewers. For instance, words such as: natural, new, part of, or because we care, are common deceptive words and phrases used in advertising.

Agree or Disagree

Do I agree with the strategies used in the advertisement?

No, I do not agree with one strategy used, pairing a meal with toys. If an unhealthy food is paired with toys, kids will choose the unhealthy meal over a healthy meal, which may affect their health. Moreover, the pairing of toys with various products is just like a marketing tool. From my point of view, marketing food to kids through toys is unfair. For instance, as burgers are unhealthy, in olden times people did not buy burgers thrice a week. But these days yet knowing that burgers are unhealthy, many parents buy them to their kids, because of a popular toy which has been paired with burgers.


How will I analyze the advertisements above?

If I will analyze the add, I will remove the toys. The add will include the typical red happy meal box, bright lights, and a bit of information on the product, for example, if the product is healthy or unhealthy. The reason I will remove the toys is because, the toys are a typical marketing tool to children through toys. For instance, if the toys are removed from the happy meal pack, some kids might stop buying it. Thus, I will not promote the happy meal through the use of popular toys.