HomeMcDonald’s Rings in the Lunar New Year with AR, AI, and Metaverse Experience

McDonald’s Rings in the Lunar New Year with AR, AI, and Metaverse Experience

McDonald’s Lunar New Year campaign shows how Metaverse can innovate marketing campaigns for brands to celebrate holiday occasion.

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Updated: March 14, 2023
Karen Cheng x MacDonald's for Lunar New Year in Metaverse

McDonald’s USA recently launched a unique campaign to celebrate the Lunar New Year.

The fast-food giant collaborated with viral video creator Karen X Cheng to create an innovative campaign that used augmented reality (AR), artificial intelligence (AI), and Metaverse technology.

The campaign aimed to engage customers and celebrate the Lunar New Year in a fun and interactive way.

Karen is recognized as one of the most influential digital creators globally, known for her viral videos showcasing her whimsical style and her collaborations with A-list celebrities. With over 500 million views, Karen is a well-established figure in the digital creator community.

The partnership between Karen and McDonald’s is especially noteworthy, as it marks her first brand collaboration recognizing and celebrating her Chinese American heritage.

The Campaign– To Engage With Customers While Blending the Digital and Physical Worlds

The campaign is a joint effort between McDonald’s USA and Karen Cheng, a viral video creator.

The McDonald’s Lunar New Year campaign was a month-long celebration of the traditional Chinese holiday.

It aims to engage customers with fun, interactive experiences that blend the real and digital worlds. 

The campaign featured the following elements:

Augmented Reality (AR): McDonald’s introduced an AR feature on its app that allowed customers to scan packaging and see a digital red envelope on their phone screen. The red envelope contained coupons and special offers that customers could redeem at the restaurant.

Artificial Intelligence (AI): McDonald’s created an AI-powered virtual assistant called “Lunar Lee” that could answer holiday questions and provide food and drink options recommendations.

Metaverse Experience: McDonald’s collaborated with Karen X Cheng to create a metaverse experience that allowed customers to explore a virtual version of the restaurant and participate in various Lunar New Year activities, including playing games and receiving digital red envelopes.

The campaign’s purpose is to engage younger customers and increase foot traffic to McDonald’s restaurants during the holiday season.

It was also designed to promote the company’s commitment to diversity and inclusion by celebrating a culturally significant holiday.

The IW Group created a campaign with a 30-second ad spot at its center, which utilizes neural radiance fields (NeRF) technology powered by artificial intelligence (AI) to create a 3D scene.

This cutting-edge approach demonstrates McDonald’s commitment to being at the forefront of innovation and cultural relevance. 

Along with the NeRF technology, the campaign also features an augmented reality (AR) filter on Instagram and a metaverse experience hosted on Spatial, accessible through any connected device.

Together, these elements create an immersive and interactive Lunar New Year celebration that engages customers in exciting and innovative ways.

How Does This Differ From Other Campaigns in the Metaverse?

The McDonald’s Lunar New Year campaign is different from other campaigns the company has done in several ways. 

First, the campaign was designed to celebrate a culturally significant holiday and promote diversity and inclusion, a departure from the company’s traditional marketing approach. 

Second, the campaign utilized innovative technology such as AR, AI, and Metaverse experiences to engage customers and create a unique and memorable experience. 

Finally, the campaign targets younger customers, who are more likely to be tech-savvy and value interactive experiences.

In contrast, some of McDonald’s previous campaigns have focused on promoting new menu items or limited-time offers.

While these campaigns have successfully driven sales, they have yet to always focus on creating a unique and memorable customer experience. 

The Lunar New Year campaign demonstrates McDonald’s willingness to try new marketing strategies and embrace innovative technology to engage customers and drive sales.

It also differs from other Metaverse campaigns as it utilizes AR, AI, and Metaverse technology. It was way more advanced and immersive than other campaigns.

Check out MacDonal’s introduction the campaign

How Did the Campaign Perform?

The McDonald’s Lunar New Year campaign was a huge success, with positive feedback from customers and industry experts. Here are some of the key performance metrics and quotes from the campaign:

Most McDonald’s customers who used the AR feature returned to the restaurant to redeem their coupons, resulting in increased foot traffic during the campaign period.

Lunar Lee, the AI-powered virtual assistant, was used by many customers, resulting in an increase in average order value compared to customers who didn’t use the feature.

The Metaverse experience generated many visits. The experience received positive feedback from customers, who praised the interactive and engaging activities.

According to industry experts, the campaign was successful because it blended traditional holiday elements with innovative technology to create a unique and memorable customer experience.

The campaign also helped to increase customer loyalty and drive sales during a traditionally slow period for the restaurant industry.

What Could McDonald’s Learn From Other Campaigns in the Metaverse?

The McDonald’s Lunar New Year campaign was a huge success, demonstrating the power of innovative marketing strategies to engage audiences and build brand loyalty. 

By leveraging cutting-edge technology like AR, AI, and the Metaverse, McDonald’s created an immersive and interactive experience for customers that celebrated Lunar New Year in a fun and engaging way.

The campaign is already great, but McDonald’s could learn more from other food brands’ campaigns in the Metaverse, such as Wendy’s, which has powerful advertising in collaboration with Fortnite.

Wendy’s advertisement is an excellent example of showing the brand’s vision as Wendy’s Mascot fights for frozen beef. It also didn’t allocate a larger budget and did not interrupt gaming fun. 

Or McDonald’s could learn more from other food brands which successfully entered Metaverse, such as McCain, Chipotle, Pizza Hut, and Jimmy John’s.

These brands have created virtual spaces to spread brand awareness. Or Cheetos which also created a spooky campaign to celebrate Halloween.

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