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TBWA and McDonald’s play ‘Angry Birds’ in China

Playing Rovio’s ‘Angry Birds’ on their Apple devices is quite a popular pastime time for many. McDonald’s, the popular fastfood brand wanted to tap into that consumer habit to get them to eat more McBurgers. That is why the company hired TBWA/Shanghai to create a social media program that will help in doing better business and building customer loyalty in China. Then TBWA/Shanghai tied up with ‘Angry Bird’ creators Rovio to create a location-based gaming experience. It will allow the consumers to whip the pigs with some special powers, and get an upbeat fun eating experience at McDonald’s.

The location-based campaign is available to the millions of Angry Birds fans on iOS devices in China and serves as an invitation to others to join in and download the game.The campaign is the first of its kind in China. “We’re delighted about this exciting new initiative in China. Both McDonald’s and Rovio are brands that are very focused on their customers, wanting to constantly bring them better and more engaging experiences, and that’s what brought us together,” said Christine Xu, VP, Marketing for McDonald’s China.

The campaign launches with a TV commercial to introduce the story. In the commercial, a battle is waged between the Pigs (Green) and the Angry Birds (Red). The battle begins when the much loved McDonald’s burger is stolen from a customer by the pigs, which sets the birds in motion. So whenever consumers playing Angry Birds game on their iOS devices visit the McDonald’s eating outlets, they can unlock special hidden game modes and get free Power-Ups to defeat the burger stealing pigs.

Not only this, the campaign also helps Rovio in selling its Angry Birds merchandise. “We’re always creating new engaging experiences for our fans everywhere. With this campaign, we are once again bridging the gap between the physical and digital worlds, with the in-game experience complementing the 1500 completely branded physical locations in a new, surprising way for our fans in China,” said Paul Chen, GM for Rovio China.  So when a McDonald’s customer is looking for a unique gaming experience with Angry Birds, all they have to do is buy the Angry Birds plush toys at the outlets and get Power Ups for more powerful birds.

To develop this campaign, TBWA’s Gamelab facilitated the partnership through its relationship with Rovio. Gamelab, based in Helsinki, Finland, is a center of excellence within TBWA’s Digital Arts Network, working with gaming experiences that involve active brand placements. “The partnership with McDonald’s and Rovio is truly unique and this campaign is the first of it’s kind for Gamelab and TBWA. Games are becoming increasingly more important as a media for brands. We’re thrilled that we were able to bring our insights on how brands can optimize their presence in games to McDonald’s and work in partnership with Rovio, a true leader in games,” commented Väinö Leskinen, Vice President of TBWAHELSINKI and Gamelab.

In addition to the TV commercial and customized game, which features in-game advertising and is available on both mobile and desktop devices, the campaign also includes in-store promotions, online advertising, social and outdoor media. Consumers will also get the opportunity to vote on the city that will get to build an actual slingshot, like those used in the Angry Birds games, to protect McDonald’s food from the Pigs.