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McDonald’s taps augmented reality, mobile check-ins for Smurfs promotion

August 3, 2011

Fast Food giant McDonald’s is increasing Happy Meal sales by using mobile to engage consumers of all ages via a worldwide Smurfs campaign that includes augmented reality and mobile check-ins.

The company is running the Smurfs promotion in North America, Latin America, Brazil, Europe and in Britain. The promotion is also part of a new global happy meal program that encourages kids and families to be a friend of the planet and focuses on the great taste of fruits and vegetables.

“The sustainability efforts in Europe will center around games on Happy Studio, in which kids can follow Happy’s example and help the environment,” said Becca Hary, spokeswoman for McDonald’s.

“The signage for the program shows Happy working together with the Smurfs, planting trees and watering them to make them grow,” she said. “The game on Happy Studio encourages players to take care of the environment by taking charge of Papa Smurf’s flowerpot machine.

“The kids must ensure that they give the flowerpots exactly what they need, which will be shown on a screen on the pot, to ensure they grow.”

McDonald’s claims to be the world’s leading global foodservice retailer with more than 32,000 locations serving approximately 64 million customers in 117 countries each day.

Happily augmented
McDonald’s restaurants in Latin America will launch a one-of-a-kind Smurfs augmented reality program that transports kids into the Smurfs’ village with Papa Smurf and all his friends.

Augmented reality imagery will be printed on Happy Meal boxes and in-restaurant menu board displays, which feature animated Smurfs footage.

Additionally, the augmented reality technology lets consumers connect with the movie experience.

“We’re promoting this through a variety of channels, such as social media and in-store signage,” Ms. Hary said.

“McDonald’s is excited to partner with Sony on the release of the Smurfs movie,” she said. “The worldwide Happy meal program promotes the importance of good environmental stewardship and family togetherness.”

Checking in
McDonald’s is also bringing the Smurfs characters to life across its digital properties in Europe.

Mobile activations and in-restaurant avatar items will unlock additional Smurfs fun for customers.

Mobile is just one of the ways that consumers can unlock additional features. They can also access it via the Web.

In addition, McDonald’s is also providing a Web experience for kids to engage with Smurfs characters.

“Through this digital program, we can reach our customers where they are and connect our brand in a fun, interactive and uniquely McDonald’s way,” Ms. Hary said.

Final Take
Rimma Kats is staff reporter on Mobile Commerce Daily, New York

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Rimma Kats is associate editor on Mobile Commerce Daily and Mobile Marketer. Reach her at

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