It’s been a while since you enjoyed a Happy Meal at McDonald’s. Wait – who are you kidding – it was just yesterday (for me, anyway). And even if you’re not a big fast-food fan, it’s nearly impossible to say no to that vanilla cone. McDonald’s continues to suck us in with their low prices and deliciously unhealthy food, turning kids into lifelong consumers. But it all starts with that first Happy Meal, which this season happens to be NFL Rush Zone Happy Meals.
According to Adage, these “Happy Meals will feature toys inspired by the league’s ‘NFL Rush Zone: Season of the Guardians’ TV series on Viacom’s Nickelodeon. Each team has their own mini toy figure, including the Patriots of course.
But the pairing of the NFL and McDonald’s should serve as no surprise given that they both “target young kids as key consumers early and often.” Adage reports that according to NFL research, “kids who become fans” during elementary school years are “locked in for life,” stated Peter O’Reilly, the NFL’s VP-fan strategy and marketing.
After all, think about how early it was when you started watching the Pats play every Sunday on your TV. Or the time you started eating those mini cheeseburgers from McDonald’s. It may very well have been around the same time. Guilty as charged.
Adage reported that “Mcdonald’s signed a multi-million, multi-year deal to become the NFL’s official restaurant sponsor last fall.” And similar to Disney, the NFL saw the potential for reaching their target demo through the Happy Meal avenue.
In a statement, McDonald’s stated, “We have elevated our partnership with the NFL this year with the integration of our Mighty Wings Campaign, NFL Runner Digital App, NFL McDonald’s Arch Card, and NFL Pocket Schedules to bring the fun and excitement of the NFL to our customers. The Rush Zone Happy Meal allows our youngest customers to get into the action,” according to Adage.
And you’re likely to soon spot the “extensive, TV, print, online and in-store campaign” promoting the Rush Zone Happy Meals (below). Bring on the barrage of McDonalds Happy Meal promotions. At least we have Monday night football to look forward to.