Author: Amanda Giasson

McDonald’s social media marketing creeps out the public

Social media users find new Happy Meal mascot from the fast-food giant “horrifying”.

McDonald’s Corporation recently introduced its new character, Happy, on Twitter, but their social media marketing did not produce the desired effect the company was hoping for because instead of a positive response, twitter users responded with fear and mockery.

Happy was designed to promote healthier Happy Meals for children but is now regarded as an “epic fail”.

Shaped like a happy meal box, Happy has bug eyes, a huge grinning mouth with a full set of big teeth, long, skinny rubbery arms and short skinny legs with running shoes. Since the mascot’s release, it has mostly generated negative social media news attention, with many people calling it “creepy” and “horrifying”. Some of the comments left by social media users after watching the video featuring the mascot on McDonald’s facebook page included “Epic fail” and “This makes me crave Burger King”. Not exactly the types of responses and feedback McDonald’s was aiming to receive.

However, McDonald’s is still hopeful that children will like Happy more than the average social media user. According to an Illinois based McDonald’s in Oak Brook, the new character “is about bringing more fun and excitement to kids’ meals, including eating wholesome food choices like low-fat yogurt.” The company added that the mascot will motivate children to eat more vegetables and fruits and to choose healthier drink options, such as milk, juice or water, over soda.

Despite the negative response to McDonald’s social media marketing of Happy, the company still has confidence in its character.

Social Media Marketing - McDonald's new character, HappyHappy may be new to America, but this character was introduced in France back in 2009 and has since made its way to other countries in Europe and in Latin America. On May 23, Happy will officially begin appearing across McDonald’s in the U.S.

Obesity is a serious problem in America and in an effort to help improve nutrition, the popular fast-food organization is attempting to reach out to children and encourage them to choose healthier options. In addition to the smaller-sized fry portion and offering apple slices in its Happy Meals – changes that were made in 2012 – McDonald’s now intends to offer kids a low-fat yogurt side, which will be introduced July 4.

Only time will tell if Happy is an actual success or if it will terrify kids as much as it did online and mobile users via social media marketing.

Mobile games may all be free-to-play in the future

Electronic Arts CFO says today’s mobile gamers expect games to be free.

Blake Jorgensen, chief financial offer at Electronic Arts (EA), has said that paid mobile games, those that require the player to pay a fee to download the app, are gradually disappearing and eventually all games are likely to be free to download because that is what the consumer wants.

A free mobile gaming experience is the future of EA.

According to Jorgensen, who spoke during the recent Wedbush 2014 Transformational Technology Managements Access Conference in New York, the renowned gaming company is likely not to add many more paid titles to its mobile gaming portfolio. The future will be all about free-to-play mobile games for EA.

Jorgensen said, “I think paid downloads will probably go away. That business is very small for us now.” He went on to say that consumers are aware that they can expand their gaming experience when and if they choose by paying to access more features in the game or they can still enjoy playing for free.

However, he said that he believes the upfront downloading cost is likely to disappear slowly. “And it’s fine, because I think the experience for the user is more immersive; they are able to get in and experiment with titles,” he added.

Discoverability is the hardest part for developers of mobile games.

EA Mobile GamesOne of the greatest challenges of mobile app development, specifically for mobile game developers, is having their app discovered. There are thousands of games available for download on Google Play and iTunes. With so much competition, it is hard for developers to make their game stand out from the crowd. As a result, discoverability can often be what costs the most.

That being said, EA does have the upper hand over other mobile gaming companies. This is mostly due to the fact that they are already well established in the gaming industry and have a collection of popular franchises such as The Sims, The Simpsons, and several EA Sports titles.

Electronic Arts is finding success in the mobile space. Currently, they have more than 130 million active users every month. Jorgenson said that, only including the fiscal year 2014, players have downloaded 600 million EA mobile games. Most of the games installed were free and he suspects this trend will only increase in the years to come.