McDonald’s China’s ‘Real-Time Olympic Shake’ Mobile App


McDonald’s in China creates a mobile game to augment its Olympic sponsorship with a ‘phone shaking’ real time challenge.


During the 2012 London Olympics, McDonald’s in China wanted to generate the same enthusiasm from Chinese customers as they had displayed during the Beijing Games.


Of course, the official Olympic sponsor and partner was faced with the challenge that London was 5,000 miles and eight times zones away, meaning that often the Games would be broadcast during the middle of the night in China.


So the brand turned to mobile and created a real-time Olympics smartphone app to engage consumers in McDonald’s outlets, rather than let them passively watch the Olympic events at home alone.


The app used GPS and a motion sensor technology to allow people to ‘compete’ against the Olympians during races and events.


Participants simply needed to download the app and then sign in at a McDonald’s store.


Before the Games started they had to participate in a warm-up tutorial, after which they could watch the Games in-restaurant and ‘race’ with Olympians by shaking their phone.


Participants could also share the campaign on microblogging platform Sina Weibo.


The top 10 participants were rewarded with an official Chinese Olympic team top.


In under a month the app was downloaded 3 million times and generated 7.5 million total plays. There were also more than 600,000Sina Weibo mentions.




A smart and fun way to sponsorship rights to life despite the distance between the customers and the games themselves.


The app also aimed to drive footfall in its fast-food outlets and offer an engaging alternative to staying home and watching the Olympics on TV. McDonald’s is able to plan and execute this type of activation in China because it has so many restaurants open late night (or, indeed, all night).









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