Starting a global conversation by removing a global icon

For 40 years Happy Meal has existed to make children smile. But recent studies revealed a shocking truth – almost half of all children feel pressure to be happy all of the time, even when they’re not. So, for the first time ever, we removed the iconic smile from Happy Meal® boxes to help start a conversation about children’s emotions and their mental health.


For the first time in McDonald’s history, we removed the iconic smile from the Happy Meal, across every brand touchpoint including the boxes in our restaurants nationwide. An on-box QR code transported families to a hub full of resources to help facilitate conversations around children’s emotions, and alongs·de the packaging were stickers designed to represent different emotions that children could use to help learn about and illustrate their feelings.