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McDonald’s “Happy” Mascot is an anthropomorphic cartoon character of a Happy Meal box introduced as a new mascot for the fast food restaurant chain McDonald’s in the United States in May 2014. Upon its debut in the social media, the character became a target of online mockeries for its creepy facial expression
The mascot “Happy” was initially unveiled for the McDonald’s brand in France in 2009 and was subsequently introduced in other European and Latin American countries.
On May 19th, 2014, McDonald’s announced in a press release that the mascot would be coming to the United States. The same day, an image of the mascot along with a link to the press release was tweeted by the @McDonalds Twitter feed.
Additionally, the McDonald’s Facebook page posted a video featuring the animated character. In the next 24 hours, the tweet received more than 1,000 retweets and the Facebook post gathered upwards of 720 likes.
On the same day, many Twitter users replied to the @McDonalds tweet remarking that the mascot appeared creepy and disturbing.
.— Boogie (@Boogieknight) May 19, 2014
McDonalds</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/winnersusedrugs">winnersusedrugs That is not right with God.
. @McDonalds this looks like the monster that killed my uncle
— steev (@Naive_Steve) May 19, 2014
On May 20th, Redditor TurboBr0 submitted a picture of the mascot to the /r/CrappyDesign subreddit, where it gained over 180 upvotes and 20 comments within the first three hours. In the coming days, several news sites reported on the social media backlash to the new Happy Meal character, including The Verge, Time, Industry Leaders Magazine, E! Online,USA Today, The Daily Mail, Bloomberg and Mashable.
IndustryLeadersMagazine – McDonalds New Mascot Happy Makes People Feel Anything But Happy