McDonald’s Orders Up Augmented Reality Experience Tied to ‘Avatar’

LOS ANGELES—Dec. 17, 2009—You’ve seen the trailer — now grab a bite of augmented reality to accompany your Big Mac as you gear up for the Dec. 18 opening of 20th Century Fox’s “Avatar.”

Augmented reality pioneer Total Immersion ( announced that it has teamed up with McDonald’s on a global promotion for the film at its restaurants in 40 markets around the world — the most extensive deployment of AR technology to date. The promotion kicked off earlier this month, on hundreds of millions of McDonald’s boxes — and, on Dec. 18, on the web, at

During the month and into January, product packaging in the U.S. for Big Macs will feature an AR “Thrill Card” on the side of each box, delivering an up-close experience with the rich environments of Pandora, and revealing insights into the characters, fauna and flora from the movie. Displayed before a webcam, the perforated “Thrill Card” becomes a portal into three unique, immersive Pandora environments — the Pandoran Rainforest, the Hallelujah Mountains and the Tree of Souls.

Players control their AR experiences by moving and tilting the “Thrill Cards” through the world of Pandora. They are invited to “Touch the Mysterious Anemonids” where they watch the Pandoran Rainforest light up as they touch the bioluminescent Anemonids. Players are then beckoned to “Navigate Across Ancient Vine Bridges,” where they can show their balancing skills by crossing the shaky vines to reach the Hallelujah Mountains. In the third scenario, “Find Mystical Woodsprites,” players explore the willow tree in search of the mystical Woodsprites, and watch them come to life.

“The McDonald’s/Avatar promotion delivers augmented reality on an unprecedented global scale,” said Bruno Uzzan, CEO, Total Immersion. “It’s by far the widest use of AR we’ve ever seen, potentially touching hundreds of millions worldwide. At the same time, it signals the arrival of digital experiences, to complement durable goods in the marketplace — a trend we expect will accelerate in the months and years ahead.