McDonald’s revived its 52-year-old character Grimace in honor of his birthday on June 12 with a limited-time shake and signature meals. Although McDonaldland characters such as Grimace and the Hamburglar haven’t been marketed since the 2000s, Grimace has gone viral with Gen-Z TikTokers.
In the clips, people can be seen trying the Grimace shake and wishing him a happy birthday, but upon taking a sip they can be seen faking their death, usually surrounded by a purple puddle. According to Today,TikToker @ruiz_alv04 was the first to start the viral trend with a video shared on June 24. Known as one of the villainous McDonald’s characters, the spoof videos are an ode to Grimace’s mischievous nature.
As of Thursday morning, #grimace has amassed 934.5 million views on TikTok, and #grimaceshake has brought in 819.2 million views.
Even McDonald’s CMO Matt Shaver got in on the trend.
McDonald’s later took to Twitter with Grimace’s response to the trend.
meee pretending i don’t see the grimace shake trendd pic.twitter.com/ZTcnLTESC8
— McDonald’s (@McDonalds) June 27, 2023
While the trend may not water everyone’s tastebuds, it ultimately has worked in McDonald’s favor.
“What may seem like negative expression is actually a positive reflection of their ability to connect with a generation,” adjunct professor of social media and influencer marketing at Chapman University Matthew Prince told CNN. “It’s getting the views, it’s getting the laughs and, as the viral trend grows, it’s getting the sales.”