McDonald's Thinking Outside the Box with Recent Happy Meal Promotion
During the first two weeks of November 2013, McDonald’s made a dramatic shift away from its typical Happy Meal offerings. In place of plastic toys based on cartoon and movie characters, Happy Meals featured books. Each limited-edition children’s book brought nutrition and imagination to millions of kids who received them.
This was big news for the promotional products industry, and a concept that savvy distributors need to take the time to consider and understand. Why did McDonald’s, one of the largest users of promotional products in the world, choose to use books as their primary promotional product, and how does this translate to your clients?
Of course, McDonald's first goal is always to sell more Happy Meals but it also recognized the need to shift negative public opinion about its brand. McDonald’s discovered books to be the ideal vehicle to communicate its more positive messages of we care about children, we want to support childhood literacy and we want children to learn how to make nutritious meal choices. In addition to these key messages, McDonald’s also provided an opportunity for parents and children to interact and communicate by reading together during mealtime instead of the child playing alone with a toy.
So, how does this translate to you and your clients? We all know that every business and organization has the need to communicate messages to their customers, clients, prospects and employees. Yet, finding an affordable and impactful communication tool in the vast sea of promotional products isn’t always easy.
Books, on the other hand, are a solution that reinforce and add credibility to any company’s message. Books also provide space for dramatic customization, including tip-in letters, advertisements and other full-color marketing. When it comes to variety, there are more than three million books available, which results in several book titles to support any client’s message, theme and budget (from 50 cents to $50). And finally, customized books offer the gold-standard measure of any top promotional product—they are used, shared, displayed and never thrown away.
Beyond these valuable benefits, books offer an immeasurable advantage to the distributors that present and sell them. Books are intelligent, smart and thoughtful solutions that elevate the perception of promotional product salespeople in the client’s eyes.
So why are books a fringe product category in our industry? And why aren’t more distributors presenting books to their clients every day? McDonald’s will be distributing 50 million books over the next year. Perhaps it is time that we, the promotional product industry, make it our New Year’s resolution to present and sell more books in 2014.