26 May 2014

McDonald's kicks off French Fry augmented reality campaign today

McDonald's has just started a new campaign ahead of the FIFA World Cup 2014 involving French fries, augmented reality, a football-related game and mobile apps. 

French fries bought from McDonald's Pioneer Mall, Singapore
The restaurant chain is serving its French fries in special FIFA World Cup edition boxes beginning May 26 that can be recognised by its associated McDonald's Gol! mobile app. The boxes have the gol.mcd.com URL at the back, with specially commissioned designs.

"This is the first time in brand history we're changing the packaging design of one of our customers' most favourite menu items on a global scale, and what better reason than to share in the excitement of one of the most prestigious sporting events in the world," said Steve Easterbrook, Senior Executive Vice President and Global Chief Brand Officer of McDonald's. "This is about bringing fun, innovative programming to our customers and celebrating our shared love of futbol. We're excited to be able to do that through an engaging, interactive mobile experience, and of course with our World-Famous Fries." 

The app at the Play Store.
Twelve artists from around the world were chosen to create the artwork on the McDonald's medium and large fry boxes in the majority of company-owned and franchised restaurants worldwide. These will trigger the downloadable app entitled McDonald's GOL!

Once the app is started, the user can place the French fry box on a flat surface in well-lit surroundings and turn the scene into an augmented reality game involving a ball and an obstacle course of (what else) French fries, at least in the first of several levels. The idea, the company said, is to "kick" the ball with the flick of a finger and divert or use obstacles to get the ball into the goal.

"Our digital vision at McDonald's is to bring an entirely new level of everyday convenience and fun to the world, and our Augmented Reality app is just one example of how we are bringing fun to our customers' lives," said Atif Rafiq, McDonald's Chief Digital Officer. "We are very excited about the numerous opportunities in front of us to bring even more innovative digital experiences to our customers in ways only McDonald's can do." 

McDonald's GOL! is compatible with most Android and Apple mobile devices and is for download in the Google Play store and Apple App Store from May 26. 

Instructions for download are a little cryptic, but basically direct the user to gol.mcd.com which redirects the user to the Play store and the App store. The Android Play store had only registered 500+ downloads at the time of writing.

The artists showcased on the specially-designed fry boxes include:
-- Australia: David Spencer, Artwork Title - 'The Perfect Kick' 
-- Brazil: Eduardo Kobra, Artwork Title - 'O mundo unido pelo futebol' (translation: 'The world united by football') 
-- Canada: Muegluc, Artwork Title - 'Unite Together' 
-- China: Hua Tunan, Artwork Title - 'World of Victory' 
-- England: Ben Mosley, Artwork Title - 'Fans of the World' 
-- France: Skwak, Artwork Title - 'The Maniac Football Party' 
-- Germany: Roman Klonek, Artwork Title - 'Freaky Fan Club' 
-- Japan: Doppel, Artwork Title - 'Kick the One' -- Russia: Egor Koshelev, Artwork Title - 'The Perfect Goal' 
-- South Africa: Adele Bantjes, Artwork Title - 'Heart of the Game' 
-- Spain: Martin Sati, Artwork Title - 'Flamenco Number One' 
-- US: Tes One, Artwork Title - 'Formations'

Screenshot from level 1.
The new fry boxes will be available throughout the duration of the 2014 FIFA World Cup, while supplies last, the company said. 

Visiting gol.mcd.com also leads to a YouTube video of amazing football stunts, here

The company has used augmented reality for mobile marketing in Australia in 2013 with the Track my Macca's app. Read about McDonald's other apps here.

*The box depicted in this post is by Hua Tunan, 'World of Victory', and is numbered 9/12.