It’s no secret that millennials are receptive to nostalgia marketing, so when McDonald’s unveiled an adult playscape at pop culture festival ComplexCon (Nov. 4-5), it’s safe to say attendees were lovin’ it. From a tricycle racetrack to old school arcade games, the brand’s Snac ’N Play activation hit home for a host of young consumers at the Long Beach, CA-based event.
The activation was millennial-savvy from the get-go. Case in point: The only way to gain event entry was to download and register for the McDonald’s app (a clever twist on social currency). From there, it was all fun and games. Like the foam jousting pit, inflatable tricycle racetrack and 20-foot slide. There was also a classic claw crane game called Cop the Kicks that gave consumers a chance to snag a free pair of sneakers, then customize them at the on-site graffiti station.
“There’s still a kid in all of us so we created a playland of sorts that brought up some of the favorite childhood memories that we all had,” says Steven Hunter, national public relations manager at McDonald’s U.S. “The intent was to create a relevant experience that kind of fit what ComplexCon was about from our standpoint, but also to use a little fun.”
When attendees weren’t getting their game on, they could also participate in a handful of Snac ’N Play shareable photo activations, including a Boomerang ball pit engagement, a photo booth and a larger-than-life McDonald’s cup installation, which served as a popular photo backdrop. And, of course, the experience wouldn’t be complete without some Mickey D’s munchies. To that end, the brand leveraged its mobile sampling vehicle to dish out complimentary soft drinks, fries and its new Buttermilk Crispy Tenders.
As if that weren’t enough to keep attendees occupied, the activation also featured a VIP lounge area, a live dj and a surprise performance by rapper Vic Mensa. To boot, McDonald’s kept digital fans engaged thanks to a live social media takeover by singer Jordan Fisher, and additional posts from singer-songwriter Kelis.
“One of our first priorities is to always ensure that a customer that comes into our restaurants has a phenomenal experience,” says Hunter. “But it has to extend beyond that. Oftentimes, we have people who, because of the nature of life or travel or even sometimes a change of environment, don’t get the opportunity to visit our restaurants. So, they’re a little bit more removed from the day-to-day affairs of McDonald’s and how we’re advancing as a modern and progressive company. We want to make sure we have an opportunity to meet customers where they are and not just meet them there, but in fun and relevant ways because our brand is about fun.” Agency: Walton Isaacson, Culver City, CA.
Spin Through This Recap of McDonald’s Snac ‘N Play Experience at ComplexCon: