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Food, Beverage & Hospitality
Published: 19 Dec 2016

McDonald’s AR Advent Calendar

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McDonalds AR Tray Mat

McDonald's has collaborated with augmented reality (AR) app Blippar and Amazon on a multi-channel Christmas campaign.

A first for the restaurant market, every food tray at McDonald's outposts throughout the UK now includes an advent calendar, which comes to life with games, avatars, camera filters and instant-win competitions via AR. To activate the calendar, patrons simply download the Blippar AR app to their smartphones and hold them over the tray to observe a calendar door 'open' each day, with some doors offering the chance to win Amazon gift vouchers.

The campaign, launched at the end of November and set to run until Christmas, also includes a TV ad created by London-based advertising agency Leo Burnett. The 90-second emotive clip tells the story of Juliette, a 3D-printed vintage-style wooden doll left behind in a toy shop on Christmas Eve. She eventually escapes and ventures to McDonald's, where she meets a character called Meteor Mike and they leave together in a happy ending.

Fast food chains are increasingly integrating technology into their tabletop hospitality offerings to provide patrons with a more engaging and layered dining experience.

As previously covered, global chain KFC offered its customers ultra-thin, Bluetooth-connected 'keyboard' tray liners for a limited time, which enabled users to type messages on their smartphones without the need to physically touch their touchscreens (and thereby dirty them with greasy fingers).

For further examples of how tech-fuelled concepts are filtrating the dining landscape, see Digital Dining, Destination Dining and Intelligent Food.

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