McDonald’s Launches AR Lunar New Year Campaign

AR filters, NeRF technology, and VR come together for a futuristic McDonald’s AAPI campaign.

As part of its commitment to serving communities and celebrating culture, McDonald’s is celebrating major cultural events such as Lunar New Year, Asian Pacific American Heritage Month, Mid-Autumn Festival, and Diwali.

To celebrate the Year of the Rabbit, McDonald’s has partnered with Karen X Cheng, a viral content creator who is known for her innovative creative designs, according to an official release. The company behind those famous french fries and Big Macs aims to connect with its consumers through an immersive metaverse experience and a cool augmented reality (AR) filter.

As a long-time fan of the Golden Arches, Cheng is excited to celebrate the rich culture and heritage of Asian Americans through this campaign. 

Famous for her amazing viral videos which have gained over 500 million views, Cheng is a talented digital creator who is also known for her collaborations with prominent celebrities. Through her passion for storytelling and innovation, Cheng has found herself on prominent lists such as Inc’s 30 Under 30 and on Adweek’s Creative 100.

Some of her most popular videos include learning to dance in a year, creating the first artificially intelligent magazine cover, and making a VR dance video for the metaverse. This partnership between her and McDonald’s marks Cheng’s first official brand partnership.

“Teaming up with McDonald’s to create a campaign that not only leans into my passions as a creator but also my cultural identity is a dream come true,” said Cheng in an official press release. “As a longtime Golden Arches fan, it’s an honor to be provided with a creative canvas that allows me to share my personal story as well as showcase my expression of the holiday to a wider audience.”

Elizabeth Campbell, Senior Director, Corporate Engagement Strategy at McDonald’s, said that the brand wanted to connect with its fans at the intersection of culture and innovation. “Our collaboration with Karen X Cheng offers new, tech-forward ways to experience the Year of the Rabbit while also honoring the legacy of the holiday and uplifting the AAPI community. The Golden Arches is proud to kickstart the new year with an interactive campaign that invites our fans to become active participants in a global cultural celebration,” said Campbell.

McDonald’s is celebrating the start of the new year with an engaging digital campaign that encourages its fans to get involved in important global celebrations, something that is very important to the global mission of the company.

The campaign, which was conceptualized by IW Group, aims to celebrate the spirit of the Lunar New Year and encourage people to embrace the traditional and unconventional ways of celebrating the holiday. The campaign also features a variety of interactive elements as well as an immersive metaverse experience. 

Nita Song, IW Group’s President & Chief Executive Officer, said that the company wanted to use the latest technology to enhance the experience for its fans. “Building on last year’s groundbreaking Lunar New Year campaign, which featured a Golden Arches’ trailblazing event in the metaverse, our goal was to utilize state-of-the-art technology to elevate the virtual and interactive experiences for brand fans.”

Here’s what you can expect with McDonald’s Year of the Rabbit campaign:

Augmented reality (AR) filter – This unique AR Instagram filter allows you to experience the transition from the Year of the Tiger (2022) to the Year of the Rabbit (2023) while enjoying incredible 3D visuals.

Metaverse Experience – Hosted on the virtual platform Spatial and accessible through a VR headset, mobile device, tablet, or PC, this custom 3D space combines traditional Asian influences with a variety of “futuristic elements,” such as 3D sculptures of the 12 Chinese zodiac animals. The platform will host two special events on January 25th and February 2nd respectively.

AI-powered television commercial – This futuristic ad spot utilizes NeRF (neural radiance fields) technology to create a 3D scene. You can use your smartphone to scan an on-screen QR code to enjoy the artwork as an interactive AR filter.

Fans can join in on the fun today via This isn’t the first time McDonald’s has created a cool virtual experience around culture and heritage. In 2022, the company created “McDonald’s Hall of Zodiacs: 2022 Lunar New Year by Humberto Leon” gallery in AltspaceVR and in Spatial. The company also filed 10 trademark applications that would allow you to order food from their menu in the metaverse and have it delivered to your real-world home.

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Image Credit: McDonald’s USA

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