McDonald's Turns Placemats Into Recording Studios in Dutch Restaurants

Brand Helps Customers Make Music With Their Phones

Published On
May 02, 2016

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Gone are the days when a maze or dot-to-dot on your tray-liner placemat was enough to get you excited in a fast food joint. In the Netherlands, McDonald's has gone all high tech with its placemats -- it's using them to help customers record music.

The chain has adapted mats in some of its Dutch restaurants with conductive ink, a small battery and a thin circuit board with 26 digital touchpoints. Customers place their smartphone on the mat and download the accompanying McTrax app to create music, choosing from in-house produced audio loops, synths and musical effects. They can also record their own vocals over the top.

The campaign was created by TBWA/Neboko with This Page Amsterdam working on the app and tech development.

Radha Pleijsant, creative technologist and Jan Jesse Bakker, digital design lead at TBWA/Neboko said in a statement: "The paper of the placemat is what makes this technique so innovative. The phone merely acts as the speaker and screen, which is easily connected to the placemat via Bluetooth, making the sure you can hear the music on your speakers."