McDonald’s Fuels Fairies and Dragons

Today’s Ottawa Citizen features a front page story about another advergaming success story in Canada. Ottawa-based Fuel Industries Inc. is gearing up to put a smile on the faces of 80 million children across Europe and create 50 new jobs in Ottawa, all thanks to a Happy Meal promotion with McDonald’s restaurants. Fuel will kick off its new Fairies and Dragons franchise with McDonald’s in 40 countries across Europe introducing children to four friendly fairies and four ferocious dragons that come to life on home computer screens. Once the promotion begins in mid-April, Fuel says more than 235,000 CDs containing the creatures will ship to McDonalds across Europe every day. Wow! According to Fuel’s Chief Creative Officer Warren Tomlin, Fuel is also in discussions with major broadcasters and toy companies about taking the Fairies and Dragons franchise mainstream. The characters were all designed in Fuel’s Westboro studios – the same building that was once home to Hinton Animation Studios, the creators of popular ’80s cartoon The Racoons. McDonalds has told Fuel it will closely monitor the Happy Meal giveaway and consider expanding the promotion to its North American and Japanese stores within 12 months. Not content to rest on its laurels, Fuel is also gearing up to release a new video game website, All Girl Arcade, which will offer puzzles, strategy and action games tailored at girls between seven and 11 years of age.