McDonald’s Happy Meals: If a Hummer Works, Why Not a Prius?

hummer_prius.jpgRather than yet another post bashing McDonalds for their ill-advised decision to put toy Hummers in their happy meals, I thought presenting them with a new idea might be more productive. Al from CityHippy and Matthew from Enviroblog have been cooking up a really interesting notion (Inspired by Brie’s comment on my last post): If Hummers sell happy meals, why not Priuses?

Hybrids of all kinds are outselling Hummers a million to one, so there is clearly an appeal, and kids love technology and new gadgets. Why not give out happy meals with toy Priuses, Smart Cars and Tesla Roadsters inside? The kids would love them, the PR would be outstanding, and McDonalds would actually have the satisfaction of feeling good about their claims to be commited to environmental stewardship. I don’t know what kind of cash GM forked over to promote their Hummers, but couldn’t a similar deal be worked out with more responsible automakers? What if I promise to eat a Big Mac?

Seriously though, unless GM has given McDonalds untold millions for the promo, it seems like giving away something that actually promotes wiser choices can’t possible be a bad thing, in fact it has to be better. What would it take to make it happen?

PS – In further news, a number of people have called into question the open-ness of the McDonald’s CSR blog, whose comments section seems to be very delayed and may not, in fact, post all comments. Although some degree of spam and troll monitoring makes sense, it goes against the principals of a blog to filter comments however negative! Hopefully they will have the courage to open comments up more quickly.

Nick Aster is a new media architect and the founder of has grown to become one of the web's leading sources of news and ideas on how business can be used to make the world a better place.

Prior to TriplePundit Nick worked for Mother Jones magazine, successfully re-launching the magazine's online presence. He worked for, managing the technical side of the publication for 3 years and has also been an active consultant for individuals and companies entering the world of micro-publishing. He earned his stripes working for Gawker Media and Moreover Technologies in the early days of blogging.

Nick holds an MBA in sustainable management from the Presidio School of Management and graduated with a BA in History from Washington University in St. Louis.

5 responses

  1. I think this would be a great idea — I have no problem with McDonalds promoting hybrids. However, I would like to see the number of happy-meal sales that month compared to the Hummer promotion. My gut tells me the Hummer’s would have an advantage, but that’s just a guess. You think they’d actually ever do it?

  2. Hummer versus Prius? Yeah, kids will really love to play with a Prius. Right. I get the point – spread the good word of conservation. But kids really don’t care about our sermons. I played with MatchBox cars throughout my childhood, and trust me, none of the cars I’ve owned have been influenced by my childhood toys. Sorry – no cherry-red 57 Chevy’s in my garage. Let them play, and deliver a more effective message elsewhere.

  3. hellow everebody,
    I’m sorry if my english is not good but I’m from Belgium.
    I also think that hummer must stay,it is the symbol of amerika,and not that stupid toyota prius,that’s just for gay people.
    Mc donalds has to support the symbol of amerika and not japan.
    Hummer is such a great car,I really love it.

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