- McDonald's Canada plans to release a web-based augmented reality (AR) experience showing a yellow McDelivery door to its mobile website that can be opened by "knocking" as if smartphone users were trick-or-treating, per information emailed to Mobile Marketer.
- The door opens to a virtual world to explore, and has an exclusive McDelivery offer. The burger chain's #BringHalloweenHome experience will be available to mobile users Oct. 29-31.
- As the chain looks to help people celebrate Halloween from the safety of their homes during the pandemic, McDonald's also is giving mobile users a way to photograph an interactive themed keepsake on their smartphones. McDelivery service is available from more than 1,000 restaurants in Canada via Uber Eats, SkipTheDishes and DoorDash.
McDonald's Canada's #BringHalloweenHome campaign aims to engage mobile users with a branded AR experience and urge them to order food for delivery while stuck at home as the pandemic disrupts celebrations. The burger chain is giving customers an incentive to explore the virtual world with the exclusive offer on its McDelivery service, which provides a contactless way to order food and practice social distancing. With younger consumers seeking experiences they can share on social media, McDonald's can extend the campaign's reach as people post selfies from the AR activation.
With many people avoiding dining in restaurants during the pandemic, mobile ordering and delivery service have become more significant for McDonald's worldwide. President and CEO Chris Kempczinski in an earnings call in July described the chain's strategy for the second half of the year as "the three Ds: drive-thru, delivery and digital." Before the pandemic, delivery service had helped to drive global same-store sales growth an average of 5.9%, the highest in more than 10 years. The health crisis led to a significant drop in overall sales, though delivery helped to offset some of the decline. In several markets, McDonald's generated as much as 10% of sales from delivery service, CFO Kevin Ozan said during the Q2 call. In the U.S., drive-thru made up 90% of revenue as many customers avoided in-restaurant dining.
However, the bigger focus on delivery during the pandemic hasn't been all good news for restaurants. Chipotle this week said delivery is driving sales but has also hurt its profits because of costs related to the service.
Kempczinski had said in the call that McDonald's would boost its marketing spend in the U.S. and global markets by $200 million in the second half of the year, and promotions like #BringHalloweenHome in Canada are a sign of that increased activity. Its recent efforts also include last month's "Spicesurance" offer to promote its Spicy Chicken McNuggets in the U.S. that included a 40-minute Instagram video starring former NFL player and TV host Anthony "Spice" Adams.
McDonald's is among the brands developing AR content to engage mobile users with an immersive experience — a possible sign that the pandemic is driving adoption of the technology as consumers engage with digital content more frequently and look for the kind of unique and immersive experiences that AR can provide. E-commerce giant Amazon this month released apps to unlock AR experiences by scanning its shipping boxes, while retailer Party City collaborated with neighborhood social network Nextdoor on an AR activation for Halloween. Nextdoor users can see Party City's locations and Halloween-themed AR content in a limited-time "treat map" that lets people tell neighbors they're handing out candy.