MARKETING DIVE – McDonald’s launched a national television commercial as part of its tie-up with Disney’s “The Little Mermaid,” according to a press release. Toys of the film’s characters will be available for a limited time as part of an eponymous Happy Meal.
The 30-second ad spotlights Black Girls Surf, a competitive performance training camp, and several of its participants.
McDonald’s donated funds to the nonprofit organization, will host a special screening of the film for its members and invited several surfers to the premiere of the film.
The campaign, which focuses on inclusivity and inspiration, comes as McDonald’s faces lawsuits over its commitments to Black-owned media.
In addition, the new version of “The Little Mermaid” has faced a racist backlash due to the casting of Halle Bailey, who is Black, as main character Ariel.
In promoting its film tie-in Happy Meal, McDonald’s has chosen to bring “The Little Mermaid” — a story about “wavemakers that dream beyond the surface to break barriers,” per press materials — to real life with a commercial focused on Black Girls Surf, a nonprofit that has provided competitive surf training to girls and women around the world since 2014.
The ad encourages girls to “dream big” and features surfers Maizy Gordon, Bethany and Anaya Malone, Macie Smith, Olivia Whyms and Penelope “Poppy” Brockhaus.
Mostly showing the surfers as they enjoy a day surfing at the beach, the spot includes just a brief shot from the film and quick glances at the Happy Meal and toy, keeping the ad focused on its purpose-driven element …