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McDonald’s Happy Meal – Adventure Time™

Licence partnerships that deliver sales, brand loyalty and get the nation talking.

For Happy Meal to remain in the public’s consciousness, our licence partnerships have to keep a finger on the pulse of families’ cultural passions. We monitor entertainment trends to stay up-to-date on what excites UK households, and observed that Adventure Time™  was scoring highly.

In selecting the show, we knew its cult following meant we could reach an influential audience. Not just young families, both parents and kids, but also passionate and social media-savvy young adults. We saw that they could drive campaign fame through their Ooo, Jake and Princess Bubblegum obsession.

But we needed a never-seen-before hook. Happy Meal’s brand purpose is ‘Truly together’. So our innovation was: “Ooo will you create?” – interchangeable Adventure Time™  character heads and bodies, encouraging families to invent their own new characters and adventures together. Brave, because we had to design and manufacture all 32 characters. However, we knew this product innovation would mean Adventure Time™  fans queuing in droves for the toys.

Why give customers creative licence?

The in-restaurant campaign became an immersive family experience through activities and character visits. Plus our fully-integrated campaign sparked cultural interest as visitors to the restaurants not only bought Happy Meals, but also to came to purchase the standalone toys to complete character sets.

Customers recorded their own unboxing YouTube videos, and Mumsnet forums were alive with debate which helped to drive phenomenal positive brand sentiment. On top of all that, our app-based competition – which invited kids to create their own virtual Adventure Time™  personality for the chance to voice a character during an episode – saw hundreds of thousands of unique plays, with an average of 13 minutes per session.

Finally, sales performed incredibly well, staying ahead of both projections and the previous year’s total.