McDonald’s Happy Meal books, 20 million of them, will replace McDonald’s Happy Meal toys next month. The four McDonald’s Happy Meal books are "The Goat Who Ate Everything,” ”Deana's Big Dreams," "Ant, Can't,” and "Doddi the Dodo Goes to Orlando." According to a McDonald’s Happy Meal books press release, each book will have a McDonald's Happy Meal character that "brings nutrition, imagination and play to life in a fun way." “McDonald's will distribute 20 million print books in Happy Meals from Nov. 1-14,” reported the Los Angeles Times on Oct. 11, 2013.
In addition to the 20 million McDonald’s Happy Meal print books, McDonald’s is also developing a series of custom interactive e-books that can be used with its McPlay Happy Meal app. The four McDonald’s Happy Meal print books will also become available as e-book editions.
Each of the McDonald’s Happy Meal print books features a message about good nutrition:
"The Goat Who Ate Everything" -- Tells a story of a goat who has a big appetite and struggles to eat right. But when he does, he feels great and becomes the playful 'kid' everyone loves.
"Deana's Big Dreams" -- Shares how Deana, the world's smallest dinosaur, grew tall by eating right.
"Ant, Can't" -- Features Ant, a bite-sized bodybuilder who's big on encouraging physical fitness through exercise and eating right.
"Doddi the Dodo Goes to Orlando" -- Follows happy-go-lucky bird Doddi who travels the world. She eats right because this dodo is always on the go-go.
Ubong Ituen, VP-marketing for McDonald's USA, commented that “we think that this is a fun and engaging way to give a nutritional message to kids.This is really the first step in a larger book strategy, and our intent is to continue over several years."
According to a report by the AdvertisingAge, “McDonald's says the new books, which will replace toys in Happy Meals for the two weeks, are part of its nutrition commitment made in 2011, when it vowed to seed 100% of its communications toward kids with a nutritional message. That year, McDonald's also began including a smaller portion of fries, along with apple slices in its Happy Meals.”
The McDonald’s Happy Meal book exchange for toys comes after a similar program was launched in England in January. After the successful pilot project was conducted in England, McDonald’s reported that nine out of 10 parents said that they wanted to see more book promotions at McDonald’s.
The United States is not England. Will kids in the U.S. enjoy finding a book instead of a toy in their McDonald’s Happy Meal?