Game on Stockholm

Location-based technology, gamification, engaging your audience, interactivity, creating user experiences… you get my gist – all buzz concepts in advertising today, the ‘magic wands’ to that flailing brand. No wonder then, that this campaign for McDonald’s attempts to encapsulate all those trends in this fast-as-their-fries, technology-forward advert, featuring (of all things) ping pong. However, despite the apparent discrepancy between the sport and the brand, I do enjoy this campaign. Although, I rather hate this promotional video – be warned.

The “pick n’ play” campaign consists of users (in the vicinity of a giant interactive billboard), playing virtual ping pong (against said billboard) with the opportunity to win a digital coupon for a McD’s treat of their choice. A no lose situation, that is unless you fail at virtual ping pong and showcase this inadequacy to the whole square. However, as it turns out I think this campaign works on a one-to-one and a crowd level – it is a crowd pleaser as it is relatively amusing to watch, but also it is the individual playing the game (probably anonymously in the crowd) with the intrinsic motivation to compete and win. Plus with a McDonald’s meal positioned as the prize, it shines a very positive bright light at the two yellow arches – giving away freebies, providing amusement and doing something different, all make McDonald’s that much more appealing, cool and fun. A kind of – “I rock at virtual ping pong, so I totally deserve this McFlurry”, rather than a typically guilty sensation following a calorific, cholesterol high.

Additionally, rather than downloading yet another app to your over-apped iPhone, the game is mobile web based, meaning that it is accessible to anyone with internet (and unfortunately an iPhone) in the area of Stureplan (during certain days in May 2011). So burger buns off to DDB Stockholm for creating this and watch this space for the next game.


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