If your child buys a Happy Meal next month, he or she may open their cardboard box to find a book inside rather than the usual movie tie-in toy.
McDonald’s will give away books in its kids’ meals for two weeks in November and the titles will be books original to the fast food franchise. According to the website Advertising Age, marketing company Leo Burnett created the books, which have titles such as “The Goat Who Ate Everything” and “Deana’s Big Dreams,” for the company. The books’ plots will try to teach children about nutrition, as with one book where a dinosaur becomes taller after eating well.
“We’re excited to invite families to spend time together and celebrate the joy of reading through these fun and original Happy Meal Books,” vice president of marketing for McDonald’s USA Ubong Ituen said in a statement.
The company estimated more than 20 million books would be distributed during the promotion, which will take place from Nov. 1 to Nov. 14.
In addition, the company plans to create one original e-book a month and post it on the McDonald’s app McPlay for kids to peruse. This plan will begin in November as well.
However, some say McDonald's still has a long way to go, including the group Corporate Accountability International, which has disagreed in the past with McDonald's aiming its advertising at children at all.
"Even with the books in Happy Meals, this is still fundamentally about marketing to kids," CAI organizer Sriram Madhusoodanan told NPR. "And it's undermining the authority of parents and health professionals."