In Sweden, the McDonald’s Happy Meal Isn’t Just for Kids Anymore

Nord DDB helps launch new product for seniors

People around the McDonald's Happy Meal space
A Happy Meal surprise in Sweden. McDonald's Sweden

Among the most vulnerable in the pandemic, the elderly population has been more isolated during lockdown. While ensuring safety and following advice from medical professionals and government entities, one unfortunate byproduct of quarantine is not interacting with family, especially grandchildren.

In Sweden, McDonald’s and agency Nord DDB flipped the script on the brand’s iconic Happy Meal to allow children to share some joy with their grandparents.

At one location in the country, an area outside of the restaurant—with plenty of safeguards, including sterilization and ample hand sanitizer—was set up in the form of a large Happy Meal box. Children could create special messages or drawings that were added to their relative’s favorite McDonald’s food.

“We wanted to let the kids surprise their grandparents with what they themselves love most, along with a surprise that we know the grandparents appreciate,” said Sofie Lager, senior marketing manager at McDonald’s in Sweden. “We hope the initiative has made the lives of the grandparents a little more enjoyable.”

While the small and straightforward promotion is welcome, especially in a time of social distancing, it’s not the first time that the agency and brand have come together to create something unique and meaningful in Sweden.

Last year, McDonald’s restaurants in the country put tiny beehives on roofs to stimulate the bee population. They also told a powerful story about the first Ronald McDonald House. McDonald’s and Nord DDB teamed up previously in 2018 to raise awareness of dyslexia by simulating the learning disorder on ads and menus.

@zanger Doug Zanger is a senior editor, agencies at Adweek, focusing on creativity and agencies.