McDonald’s is most famous for two items: burgers and fries. They have used both in unique ways to capitalize on the World Cup and continue to dominate the fast food industry. Using the French Fry box and a soccer ball- shaped burger bun, McDonald’s will promote the World Cup around the world as the official restaurant for the Cup.
McDonald’s, which is valued at $37.4 billion as a brand and No. 5 on Forbes Most Powerful Brands, expected the french fry boxes to be in 119 countries on Thursday, opening day of the World Cup. They were debuted worldwide on May 26 and feature World Cup-themed artwork commissioned from artists around the globe. The idea for the artwork on the box came from the desire to better communicate with Millennials, says McDonald’s senior director of global marketing Matt Biespiel. He believes that “it’s a generation that loves art, loves unique customization, loves expressing itself and, of course, loves McDonald’s french fries.”
The box is also the portal for an augmented reality game called “McDonald’s GOL!” Fans can download the mobile app and then scan the box to launch the game. Once scanned, the soccer field appears on the device and the fry box acts as the goal. Players can use their finger to flick the ball, emulating a kick on the field. Players can then share their best trick shots via social media. Biespiel believes that the app will get “heavy digital-media marketing support through Twitter, Facebook and YouTube.”
In addition to the french fry boxes, McDonald’s have been promoting heavily in Australia and Brazil, creating special menu items, incorporating participating teams in the items. The most unique part of this menu is the Brazil Burger, which has a soccer ball-shaped bun and is only available in Australia. In addition to the Brazil Burger, there will be the Spain Wrap, England Pie, Italy McFlurry and Rio Frozen Sprite.
In host country Brazil, McDonald’s has also launched a special World Cup menu and is giving away World Cup-themed Coca-Cola glasses. The menu includes items such as the McBrasil, McAlemanha (McGermany), McArgentina, and McEspanha (McSpain).
As official restaurant of the 2014 World Cup, McDonalds hopes to bring the international flavor of the event to its loyal and soccer-loving customers in Brazil. With the french fry box, they should extend their presence around the globe, while utilizing the box as a creative phone app.