Since Google Cardboard showed us that pretty much anyone can rig up a VR headset with whatever’s on hand, the VR headset as marketing campaign idea has flourished. We saw Google, Verizon, and ILMxLAB release limited edition cardboard sets along with exclusive VR content related to The Force Awakens in the run up to the movie’s release, and now we’re seeing something very similar from McDonald’s. In Sweden.
Maybe not the source you were expecting, but believe it or not, they’ll be serving a very important educational role with the new headsets. In McDonald’s locations in Sweden, the familiar Happy Meal boxes can now be taken apart and folded into VR goggles — if you want, you can think of the lens piece inside the box as the Happy Meal toy. Once the lens part has been removed, the box can be folded to become the frame of the goggles, into which the lens piece can be inserted. Of course, like all smaller VR headsets on the market, these Happy Goggles will require one more very expensive toy — a smartphone, which will need to be inserted behind the lenses.
As Google proved when they first made Google Cardboard, you can make a VR headset pretty easily yourself. The draw for marketing promotions like this one and the Star Wars one is, as always, the VR content. McDonald’s has something pretty crucial for the Swedish market — a downhill skiing game that teaches safety on the slopes. It has the blessing of the Swedish alpine ski team, making it a solid piece of youth education in Sweden, where learning to walk and learning to ski often happen around the same time.
So, when will we get Happy Goggles with our Chicken McNuggets? McDonald’s doesn’t have any concrete plans to expand the program yet, but we figure this won’t be the last we hear of McDonald’s little VR stunt.