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In Singapore, McDonald's new metaverse unlocks perks for Grimace NFT holders

McDonald's Singapore recently launched My Happy Place, a metaverse experience accessible through its official app. Unveiled in June 2024, the virtual world allows users to play games like Build-A-Burger, design future McDonald's restaurants and participate in daily contests for real-life food deals and prizes. Users can also dress their avatars in McDonald's outfits.

The experience builds on a prior initiative — last year, McDonald’s Singapore released a collection of 2,000 NFTs of Grimace, one of the brand’s mascots, which exploded among Gen Zs. Grimace NFT holders will now receive special perks in My Happy Place, including exclusive wearables, access to a secret island and the ability to display Grimace portraits in their digital restaurants.

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Those perks tap into growing consumer expectations for recognition of whatever they're passionate about (in this case, Grimace). Ownership of an NFT becomes proof of their passion, and token-gating allows brands to reward holders. While NFTs have tumbled from their hype-fueled heights of 2021, they could have staying power as tools for providing people with a status fix.

The viral revival of Grimace might be one of those Gen Z TikTok trend curveballs that can't be replicated, but McDonald's is astutely capitalizing on the buzz. What are your customers passionate about? And how could your brand recognize and reward their excitement?