McDonald’s is working on getting more people in the LGBTQ community to chow down on their burgers and chicken nuggets. In a desperate bid to make more people come to McDonald’s locations across the United States, the fast-food burger chain has resurrected its furry purple mascot Grimace in a new campaign coinciding with Gay Pride celebrations throughout the month of June 2023.
The fast-food restaurant began Pride Month by offering a limited-time purple milkshake in honor of Grimace’s fifty-second birthday. The purple milkshake was such a hit with customers that McDonald’s added it to their menu on June 12, 2023, ahead of the major Pride Parade celebrations in major cities across the country.
In addition, McDonald’s is using their social media channels to promote Grimace as a new LGBTQ icon – and it is working better than expected. On their social channels, McDonald’s posted, “wanna come 2 my party???? finally got my own grimace meal and purple shake.”
The purple Grimace milkshake also comes in a meal. Customers can get either a ten-piece Chicken McNuggets order or a Big Mac and fries to devour along with the purple milkshake that they can use to wash down the fast food.
Meanwhile, social media users have caught on to McDonald’s ploy to use Grimace as a Pride Month celebration. Because Grimace is purple and the themed milkshake was released ahead of June’s major pride celebrations, customers on social media wondered if McDonald’s was trying to entice more LGBTQ customers to shop at their fast-food chain stores.
One user wrote, “Grimace goes to Pride.”
Another person tweeted, “Hey Grimace, happy birthday and happy Pride.”
In addition to having their own milkshake, Grimace also appeared on McDonald’s social media channels with selfies and other images along with messages to entice Gay customers into McDonald’s. One post stated (all misspellings are intentional per McDonald’s), “unrelated, but do I (grimace) look like a purple bloater plss be honest.”
Although Pride celebrants see Grimace as an LGBTQ icon, McDonald’s is trying to keep close-lipped about whether or not Grimace was resurrected to celebrate Pride Month.
A McDonald’s spokesperson told Business Insider, “The best part about Grimace is that he means different things to different people. Whatever he is, we’re just proud our bestie makes people happy.”
Grimace first appeared in the cast of McDonald’s characters as a villain back in 1971. However, he terrified millions of children, so McDonald’s made him over in a nicer version where Grimace was a good guy. Now, he is a Gay Pride icon for many McDonald’s customers celebrating Pride Month.
The Grimace milkshake, a limited edition concoction made famous by the beloved character, has been a hit with McDonald’s customers. The shake combines low-fat vanilla soft-serve ice cream and wild berry syrup for an extra sweet treat with every sip. Customers can also buy the milkshake in two sizes, with the larger size costing around $3.
McDonald’s has also used Grimace to promote their “Better Together” campaign, which celebrates the importance of inclusion and acceptance. The campaign features Grimace alongside other characters such as Ronald McDonald, Hamburglar, Mayor McCheese, and Birdie the Early Bird.
The Better Together campaign aims to highlight that everybody is equal regardless of gender, race, religion, or sexual orientation.