Starting May 26th, McDonalds customers will notice something different with the company’s packaging. For the first time in history, the restaurant titan will scoop its iconic French Fries into boxes featuring 12 pieces of artwork inspired by the 2014 FIFA World Cup, and there’s more. On the back are instructions to play a new augmented reality game called McDonalds GOL! To learn more, we contacted Jason Yim from developer Trigger to talk about the game.
This is the first time McDonalds changed its packaging for an event on such a global scale. How did you come to work with the company on the GOL app?
We were recommended to DDB, McDonald's Ad Agency, by Qualcomm and GMR (another Omnicom Agency simultaneously) as an expert in premium augmented reality experiences. We worked closely with DDB and Qualcomm over the past 12 months to concept, prototype and develop the GOL app.
After buying Medium or Large fries, how do consumers play the app?
Even though the Augmented Reality experience features extremely complicated computer vision, the actual user experience was designed to be as simple as possible. Once they have the app downloaded to their device, all the player has to do is place their fry box on a table and scan it through the app. The field of play will literally grow out from the box and onto the table. Players can then go through beginner levels all the way up to pro. Later levels will feature Qualcomm's new Smart Terrain technology, which allows players to scan in their own objects into the playing field! The last level offers truly open play. Users can design their own level from scratch with an easy-to-use editing tool. Finally, every shot is recorded as an instant replay and can instantly get shared to YouTube.
AR has a somewhat lukewarm history when it comes to video games. What do developers need to improve upon?
AR experiences have not worked well in the past for two reasons. First, AR technology was still in its infancy, and second, the experiences themselves were shallow. Thankfully we've moved past both of these issues. Qualcomm's Vuforia is lightning quick and rock solid, which allows players to focus on the play instead of being distracted by the underlying technology. And McDonald's GOL is proof that AR can now deliver a much deeper and more complete experience for gamers.
That being said, in what areas does AR thrive?
AR offers contextual play to gamers. There's something magical about playing in your own environment, or conversely, pulling something from your world into the game itself. And that is especially meaningful to brands as well.
It's important for game developers to look at AR as a powerful tool. It doesn't have to be the entire game experience. Instead, it can be a unique interaction that reaches into the player's world and blends seamlessly with the rest of their game.
How collectible will these 12 French Fry boxes be?
These custom boxes are a first in the history of McDonalds, so I think they're very collectible. And the fact that they feature artwork from all over the world only makes them more unique.
Which country are you pulling for in this year’s 2014 FIFA World Cup?
USA (of course) and Brazil. To see them win the World Cup in their home country would be amazing.