News & Views
McDonalds plays DJ with McTrax

How do you like your McDonalds; with a side order of fries, or maybe a McFlurry? In the Netherlands, McDonalds offered a side order of beats.

For one day only, McDonalds introduced the McTrax placemat, a paper placemat you sync with your smartphone, transforming your food tray into your own personal DJ desk with the sole purpose of composing your own brand of music.


Whilst seemingly an innocuous piece of paper, McTrax is printed using conductive ink, and contains a thin circuit board with 26 digital touchpoints powered by a tiny battery. All customers needed to do was put their smartphone on the placemat, download an app, then sync to the mat via Bluetooth. Once connected, customers had their own keyboard where they could access a succession of musical production tools including a synthesiser, sampler, and beat station with a pre-installed sound bank of techno, hip hop, house, dancehall, and other rhythm loops together with sample controls for creating their own original music. The smartphone acted as the speaker and screen, and customers could record their own vocals over the top, as well as being able to save and share their creations with friends on social media.

Alas, the McTrax placemat was tested on April 22nd, in only one Dutch location, but fingers and toes crossed that McDonalds “lets the beat go on.”

In March, we had McDonald’s Sweden’s “Happy Goggles” – a do-it-yourself virtual reality headset made from one of its Happy Meal boxes, and now we have McTrax. McDonald’s are getting good at providing an entertaining experiences which keep customers engaged and ultimately in their restaurants for longer. The ultimate experiential!

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