McDonalds’ new mascot turns heads, and not in a good way

Making major changes to a brand's image, including introducing new images, logos and mascots, can dictate the direction of further campaigns. Make a mistake in the design stage, and the vinyl signs and other pieces that you create may need to be tweaked or re-worked later.

McDonald's has been the source of some recent criticism thanks to the introduction of a new character named "Happy," a happy meal box with a face that has been interpreted as being disturbing. According to NBC News, a spokesperson for the company claimed that Happy tested well in markets outside of the US, including Europe.

However, the response on social media seems to have been overwhelmingly negative, with many on Twitter expressing fear over the character's prominent teeth. Reactions have been so volatile that Grub Street recently produced a video that featured children reacting to the strange features of this new box, some of whom even called it "weird" and creepy."

The Motley Fool criticized this campaign from another angle, pointing out that the design is explicitly meant to appeal to children, and is even stealing a little from other popular animated characters.

"With sales of children's meals in decline, Happy is a stumble for McDonald's at a crucial juncture and a reminder of the inhospitable marketing climate the company faces," the Fool's Keith Noonan writes. 

Before your company starts making custom logo decals, you might do well to look at reactions and think about which trends are worth sticking with. If you make the wrong choices at the planning stage, there might be further consequences when you start making related marketing materials.