Meet "Happy," McDonald's newest mascot. Not everyone is happy, though.
On Monday this week, McDonald's USA unveiled a new Happy Meal brand ambassador that will be launched nationwide on May 23, Friday.
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Named "Happy," the new mascot has already been introduced in France in 2009. McDonald's then started using the mascot in Latin America and other countries in Europe. But America has yet to see the new ambassador, a Happy Meal box with bright eyes and large mouth with glistening white teeth and a pink tongue.
McDonald's made an announcement on Twitter this week and the response was not good. The social media reacted negatively to the new mascot, calling it scary and devilish.
"It's the meal that eats you," one commented on Twitter.
"In order to fight obesity in kids, McDonalds introduces its new mascot to scare children," another lashed at McDonald's.
According to McDonald's official press release, the new mascot aims to promote fun and excitement to kid's meals. Happy also encourages children to enjoy eating fruits, vegetables, low-fat dairy and wholesome beverages such as water or juice, the company said.
Responding to the criticisms on Twitter, Julie Wenger, Senior Director of Marketing for McDonald's, told CNN that "Happy" is not for everyone.
"Happy is promoting healthy choices through fun and lightheartedness," Wenger added.
In addition, the popular fast food chain will begin offering a Go-GURT Low-Fat Strawberry Yogurt that is said to contain just 50 calories. The new yogurt side option is also a good source of calcium and vitamin D, McDonald's said.
The company added that it will only serve milk, juice, and water as a beverage choice for Happy Meals and Mighty Kids Meals in restaurants starting this year.