McDonalds1During the month of October fast food giant McDonald’s gave away their signature candy buckets with their Happy Meals. This year boys received Star Wars buckets while girls received Monster High buckets. Aside from the fatty foods, which McDonald’s is trying to supplement with smaller amounts of french fries and bags of apples, there’s no harm in the buckets. They actually make great halloween candy buckets, after all that’s what their for.

So as we moved into November kids across America, and around the world, may have been disappointed to see that their local McDonald’s was absent a giant display of collectible figurines. It’s not because there’s no good kids movie to partner with this year but rather McDonalds is trying something new in the month of November, with a follow up promotion that will last all year (and possibly longer).

In November Happy Meals will come with one of four books. The books are easy readers and have some sort of nutritional lesson in the story. I know what you’re thinking that’s about as bad as a kids’ book from Randi Zuckerberg talking about how bad social media is right? They books really aren’t that bad. Our daughter has already read the first book and got a kick out of the story.

McdonaldspromoHere are the four books available this month:

  • “The Goat Who Ate Everything” – Tells a story of a goat who has a big appetite and struggles to eat right. But when he does, he feels great and becomes the playful ‘kid’ everyone loves.
  • “Deana’s Big Dreams” – Shares how Deana, the world’s smallest dinosaur, grew tall by eating right.
  • “Ant, Can’t” – Features Ant, a bite-sized bodybuilder who’s big on encouraging physical fitness through exercise and eating right.
  • “Doddi the Dodo Goes to Orlando” – Follows Doddi the bird who travels the world and eats right to stay on the go.

McDonald’s is taking their reading promotion a stride further by also giving away free e-books via their McDonald’s Happy Meal app. McDonald’s has partnered with DK Publishing to offer the first e-book, which introduces DK’s Amazing World Series with “The World’s Greatest Cities.” Kids will also be able to access an interactive digital version of McDonald’s Happy Meal print book, “The Goat Who Ate Everything” via the McPlay app.

The e-books are also available in spanish via the MeEncarta website.

While the in-store Happy Meal promotion will only last through November, McDonald’s is planning to introduce a new e-book every month that can be downloaded onto a computer or a mobile device.

All of the books feature the McDonald’s Happy Meal characters. While this is the first time that McDonald’s has offered e-books in conjunction with their Happy Meal promotion, this isn’t the first time they’ve stuffed the Happy Meal carton with books. USA Today reports that the company has done 15 different book promotions since 1982.

McDonald’s is partnering with Reading is Fundamental RIF for this promotion and while promoting reading and nutrition to kids is great consumer watch dog group Corporate Accountability isn’t impressed. Jesse Bragg, a spokesman for the organization said “It’s just a way to get their brand in front of kids in a very subversive way.”  He went on to explain to USA Today that kids may start associating McDonald’s with healthy eating.

Source: GigaOm