McDonald’s is celebrating the Lunar New Year in a unique way this year, with a campaign that mixes the metaverse, augmented reality (AR), and artificial intelligence (AI).
To that end, the company collaborated with Karen X Cheng, an award-winning filmmaker and influencer.
The first to be launched is an AR filter on Instagram that, through a 3D illusion, allows users to experience the transition from the Year of the Tiger (2022) to the Year of the Rabbit (2023)—a symbol of longevity, peace, and prosperity in China.
Meanwhile, the metaverse space, launched on Spatial, features a Chinese-style temple that showcases a 3D hologram of a tiger flipping and turning into a rabbit in the center. Visitors can also view digital frames displaying Karen X Cheng’s youthful drawings of zodiac animals, such as the rabbit and tiger—which represent her zodiac sign and her elementary school mascot, respectively.
The metaverse space also includes a virtual representation of McDonald’s TV spot, developed in partnership with Karen X Cheng, and is the first ad spot to employ NeRF (neural radiance fields) technology, which uses AI to create 3D scenes.
McDonald’s Lunar New Year metaverse experience will also include special events involving Karen in avatar form, such as a Year of the Rabbit celebration (January 25) and an evening with the artist (February 2).
This initiative allows McDonald’s to celebrate culture while also showing consumers how new technology can revolutionize the way a brand promotes and creates campaigns, attracting new generations.
The American multinational fast-food chain has already made a lot of steps in that direction. Last year, McDonald’s filed a number of trademark applications to enter the metaverse with a virtual restaurant that offers real home delivery, and launched the NFT Triplo Level Up contest to increase its NFT presence in Italy.