McDonald’s new packaging, a QR code and telling brand stories

McDonald's new global packaging

The next time you visit a McDonald’s restaurant, especially in the US, check the packaging for information about the nutritional value of the food you’re about to eat.

While you can read concise info on the packaging itself, more interesting perhaps is a link to that information in the form of a QR code that you scan with your smartphone’s camera; that action then brings information from a McDonald’s website to your screen that you can read and also share with your social networks. As many McDonald’s restaurants have free wifi these days, getting a connection to do this shouldn’t be an issue.

The company said the launch of its new packaging began last week in the US and will roll out worldwide during 2013, with the text being translated into 18 different languages. McDonald’s says a key objective with the new packaging is to communicate brand stories in an engaging and modern way:

[…] A blend of text, illustrations and a QR code will deliver interesting facts about the brand and make nutrition information easily accessible from mobile devices.

“Our new packaging is designed to engage with customers in relevant ways and celebrate our brand,” said Kevin Newell, McDonald’s Chief Brand Officer. “Customers tell us they want to know more about the food they are eating and we want to make that as easy as possible by putting this information right at their fingertips.”

It’s a good example of how a device like a QR code can add value to your PR or marketing communication, not only in the imagination you bring to bear in what happens when your customer scans the code, but also thinking about the framework, as it were, to enable that action to happen: in this case, a restaurant with a high likelihood that customers will be there with mobile devices, so provide the wifi network to let them get online easily and freely.

One note to mention, though. I think McDonald’s missed a good trick with their news release about this story. A page of text, that’s it. Imagine if they had included images and links, and the QR code with that announcement so readers like me could check it out, maybe do a screenshot of the result, add some commentary about it, bring it directly to the attention of my network and increase the opportunities for sharing McDonald’s story.

Sounds like I’m almost talking about a social media news release!

In any case, the result of what you see in the photo above looks like it fits with the key objective McDonald’s talks about. I’ll look out for the packaging when I next visit a UK McDonald’s.

(Via Digiday)

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