McD’s and Monster on Attracting Gen Z with AR and QR


McDonald’s, Snapchat and Monster Energy meet Gen Z – the first generation of digital natives – where they live: on their phones. Industry leaders revealed how AR and QR codes work on day two of Advertising Week 2022.

AR and QR codes are two ways leading brands are engaging with Gen Z consumers / Photo credit: Adobe Stock

As Gen Z matures into an active consumer base, it’s time for brands to adapt to the emerging mobile trends.

Take McDonald’s, which to date has launched over a dozen augmented reality (AR) lenses with Snapchat, and Monster Energy, which now includes a QR code with every creative campaign. Today, a quick phone scan enables these brands to engage mobile users in an immersive digital experience or even an application.

McDonald’s initially took a multi-pronged approach to reach young audiences naturally, such as: B. Establishing a casual lowercase social media presence and encouraging TikTok users to create their own content. The burger giant, in particular, has reported record success through its partnership with Snapchat, which enables consumers to experience immersive AR experiences. According to Healan, 80% of McDonald’s social activity now takes place on the platform.

New technology has enabled McDonald’s to connect with Gen Z in a way that feels natural for a generation with a declared love for creative self-expression. “You see yourself at work, in our ideas. We share the pen with them [and] They’re part of the brand now,” said Jennifer Healan, McDonald’s vice president of US marketing and content, in a panel discussion. “We are okay with taking risks. “It took us a while to get there, [but] We’re fine rolling around and being uncomfortable.”

Attract Gen Z’s attention with QR codes

QR codes have long been used in other parts of the world as an efficient means of providing links to IRL. That changed with the pandemic, which spurred the rapid adoption of the technology in the US. This presented a new opportunity for brands like Monster to reach their target audience: the younger generation, according to Shaun Farrar, Monster’s senior director of global media.

According to the Los Angeles Times, QR codes are proving to be very effective in grabbing the attention of a consumer base that spends half of their waking hours in front of a screen. “You never know when you’ll catch someone at the right moment,” Farrar said in a panel discussion. “By allowing them to take out their phone and engage with your brand is tremendous.”

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