Earlier this week, McDonald’s introduced its newest mascot named “Happy” for the chain’s popular Happy Meals. Social media quickly dubbed the mascot “terrifying” and “scary.”
The company issued a press release on May 19, 2014, announcing the mascot as a new “Happy Meal brand ambassador.”
McDonald’s today introduced “Happy,” a new animated Happy Meal character that brings fun and excitement to kids’ meals while also serving as an ambassador for balanced and wholesome eating.
The mascot was tweeted out the same day:
— McDonald’s (@McDonalds) May 19, 2014
The social media response to “Happy” was quick to point out the “scary” appearance of the “creature.”
Many news organizations such as Yahoo and Time ran articles referring to the mascot as “terrifying.” USA Today referred to Happy as “creepy” while Slate jokingly asked if the new mascot was “meant to scare kids away from fruits and vegetables.”
Company spokeswoman Lisa McComb pointed out that the mascot has been used in Latin America and Europe since 2009 and “loved and well-received by children and families” in those areas and that social media’s reaction does not “reflect the broader view.”