R/GA London is pleased to announce that it has collaborated with McDonald’s and Hachette Children’s Group to help inspire the next generation of young readers with the expansion of the McDonald’s Happy Meal Readers programme. The initiative began rolling out in January 2019 and has been developed alongside the launch of ‘The Treetop Twin’s Adventures’; an exclusive book series which will run in the 82 participating markets and is written by Cressida Cowell, world-renowned author and illustrator of the bestselling How To Train Your Dragon series.
McDonald’s tasked R/GA London to bring this exclusive series to life within the Happy Studio App; with the agency subsequently creating a unique interactive global reading experience exclusively for McDonald’s. As the reader follows along with the story, the story comes to life in front of them with animations and rich sound effects, creating an immersive reading experience to excite kids and parents around the world and help inspire a lifelong love of reading.
“It was important to elevate the enjoyment of reading for kids and reimagine how books are experienced today” said Ben Lloyd, Creative Director R/GA London. “By making reading fun and creating a truly immersive reading experience for the whole family, we’ve helped instill a lifelong love of reading for kids, and inspired millions of families around the world to read and enjoy moments together.”
On the digital experience Cressida Cowell said “I am so delighted to work with McDonald’s and R/GA London on this digitalisation of The Adventures of the Treetop Twins. I love how the app helps to guide readers through my stories and adds integrated sound effects and animations which complement the narrative. As a literacy ambassador I know how important engaging, educational digital resources can be – especially for children who may not currently enjoy reading.”
The digital experience has been thoughtfully designed for children and families to read together. R/GA London designed the user experience, visuals, animation and software framework within the Happy Studio app. R/GA’s child development partners Fundamentally Children were consulted to ensure the experience was accessible for our app audience (kids 6-8) and enabled a fun family moment.
To create a connection to the physical books in restaurant, R/GA designed a bespoke scanning experience to provide additional engaging content.
R/GA London also built a number of bespoke OS tools including the Binder which allows us to generate and push books at scale, globally.
The 12-book read-along series will be live in 80 markets and available in 43 different languages on both iOS and Android, with the first roll out from February 2019 and further roll outs over the coming months.
McDonald’s recognizes the opportunity they have to use their scale for good to help make reading fun for kids and inspire fun family moments. McDonald’s passion for reading dates back to 2001, starting with Sweden first introducing a children’s book offering as part of the Happy Meal bundle. Since then, additional markets adopted this practice, which has become known as the Happy Meal Readers book program.