Global fast food chain, McDonald’s, to celebrate this Lunar New Year in the metaverse in collaboration with award-winning, viral digital content creator Karen X Cheng.
According to the press release, “Cheng, a longtime brand fan, is excited to bring her heritage and that of the AAPI (Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders) community to life in an innovative way with McDonald’s this season.”
The collaboration brings life to the stunning 3D illusion used in the augmented reality (AR) Instagram filter allowing McDonald’s lovers to experience the change from the Year of the Tiger (2022) to the Year of the Rabbit (2023).
The immersive metaverse experience, combines traditional Asian influences with futuristic elements, such as 3D sculptures of the 12 Chinese zodiac animals, to imagine what a Lunar New Year celebration might look like in the future.
The Metaverse experience is hosted on Spatial which will let McDonald’s fans celebrate the Lunar New Year with people from all over the world and participate in exclusive events, such as a Year of the Rabbit celebration on January 25 and an evening with the artist on February 2 that will feature Karen in avatar form.
The AI-powered television commercial is one of the first to use NeRF (neural radiance fields) technology, which uses artificial intelligence to generate a 3D scene.
The commercial is inspired by Karen’s memories of the Lunar New Year from her youth. The advertisement’s artwork can be viewed as an interactive AR filter by having viewers scan an on-screen QR code.
Digital artist Karen Cheng is well-known for her entertaining viral videos and partnerships with A-list celebrities. The collaboration with McDonald’s is her first with a business that acknowledges and celebrates her Chinese American ancestry.
Cheng stated “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.”
McDonald’s Senior Official Elizabeth Campbell stated “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.”