McDonald’s is now the most ubiquitous brand to attach themselves to VR. Last week, the fast food giant began delivering hamburgers and chicken nuggets to Swedish customers in a new version of their famous Happy Meal box. Taking a page out of Google’s book, McDonald’s has given their iconic red box the dual purpose of a foldable VR viewer.
Monday, American audiences got their first taste of McDonald’s-flavored VR at SXSW, where participants were transported inside a Happy Meal via HTC’s Vive for an explosive, colorful art project.
“I think with virtual reality we’re always looking for experiences for our consumers with emerging technologies,” McDonald’s VP of global brand engagement, DeLu Jackson tells AdWeek, “and how those experiences can be on the forefront of the new definition of what’s fun.”
It comes as no surprise that McDonald’s would be among the first of their competitors to embrace VR, as they have been early adopters of emerging technologies like ordering apps and mobile payments, the latter of which was pioneered by the chain’s longtime partner, Coca-Cola.
What sets McDonald’s apart from their fellow corporate VR investors like Google, Facebook, and Samsung is that McDonald’s brings the technology to an audience of non-tech-savvy people. Strangers to Google Cardboard, Oculus and Gear VR are without a doubt familiar with the Happy Meal.
The costs and benefits of ad-campaigns like McDonald’s are debatable, but those already in the VR community should see the marketing move as something that will bring more of the public’s attention to the technology, driving more potential customers to their projects and products.
— Article contributed by Dylan Eller