By Sari Bernfield


Just when our society thought McDonald’s could not become any more successful, they continue to surprise us.  They have just announced that they are going to be partnering with the NFL for a Happy Meal promotion. These Happy Meals are going to be in more than 14,000 of their U.S. restaurants.  The toys in the Happy Meals are based on Nickelodeon’s NFL Rush Zone series.

This is a genius pairing; two of America’s largest corporations are coming together to benefit each other’s businesses.  Last fall, McDonald’s was titled the official sponsor of the NFL after a multimillion dollar deal.  Yet, this new Happy Meal promotion takes this partnership to a whole new level.

It is an incredibly intelligent campaign because McDonald’s Happy Meals attract 6 to 13 year-old children to the NFL.  In addition to children who already watch and love the NFL, more will be further inclined to go to McDonald’s over Wendy’s or Burger King.

According to Mr. O’Reilly, NFL’s VP of fan strategy and marketing in an article from Advertising Age, “The NFL’s research indicates kids who become fans of NFL teams during their elementary school years are ‘locked in for life.'”

The NFL wants to be involved with this demographic.  This is their opportunity to grab those forever NFL fans at a young age through action figures from McDonald’s Happy Meals and advertisements they see promoting their favorite meal and sport.

Leo Burnett from Chicago is taking on the advertising for McDonald’s new campaign.  They are creating a full-fledged TV, print, online and in-store campaign.  McDonald’s is in good hands at Leo Burnett with their new promotion, since they have trusted them with their advertising since about 1981.

Additionally, with the Happy Meal promotion and being the official sponsor of the NFL, McDonald’s will be able to promote a healthy and active lifestyle to their consumers.

In the past, McDonald’s has been criticized for their unhealthy menu and promoting it to the public, which people have claimed led to their obesity.  Now, partnering with the NFL proves that McDonald’s recognizes the importance of exercise.

As the campaign is just getting rolling, I am intrigued to see if the public responds as positively to the promotional idea as I do.  I see this campaign greatly increasing customers for the NFL, as well as McDonald’s.

For now, stay tuned and hopefully this partnership will be a touchdown and both corporations will end up doing an “endzone dance” to celebrate their success.



Written by Ad Buzz

The American Advertising Federation Illinois Chapter brings to you Ad Buzz, a blog dedicated to all things advertising related, from our favorite campaigns to trends going on in the industry.

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