McDonald’s (s MCD) has faced pressure for marketing salty, fatty food at kids and for giving away plastic toys that essentially amount to landfill in its Happy Meals. Now the company is attempting to address both issues with a new campaign that focuses on books and nutrition.
The fast food chain will also release a free ebook, in partnership with DK Publishing, every month starting in November through the end of 2014. This is in addition to a two-week campaign that will include self-published print books, instead of toys, with Happy Meals for two weeks starting November 1.
The ebooks can be downloaded from HappyMeal.com and from the McPlay kids’ app (yes, McDonald’s has a kids’ app). The first ebook, DK’s World’s Greatest Cities, is available for download now as a PDF.
By the way, if you don’t have kids and haven’t bought a Happy Meal in awhile, you’ll be a little surprised by how the messaging around them has changed. The new motto is “Eating fruit & dairy is fun.” One of the print books that McDonald’s is giving away with Happy Meals, and which will also be an ebook, is called The Goat Who Ate Everything and, according to USA Today, “is about a goat who has a big appetite and struggles to eat smart. But when he finally does, he feels great and becomes the playful kid who everyone loves.”