Unbox: Learning from McDonald’s Hong Kong’s Web3 Success with McNuggets Land in The Sandbox

The Sandbox
5 min readNov 2, 2023

With over 90,000 visits and 38 minutes in average play time, McNuggets Land is one of The Sandbox’s most engaging experiences to release in 2023. In this edition of our Unbox series, we sat down with Kai Tsang, Digital Customer Experiences at McDonald’s Hong Kong, to understand the strategy behind this success story.

In the ever-evolving landscape of marketing and branding, it’s not just about keeping up with the times; it’s about setting new trends and pioneering innovative approaches. McDonald’s Hong Kong, a company that has been serving its vibrant community since 1975, is doing just that. With a strong emphasis on digital transformation and a commitment to providing exceptional experiences, they’ve embarked on a thrilling journey into the world of web3, leaving a lasting mark in the metaverse.

A Blend of Digital and Physical Experiences

One of the pivotal moments in McDonald’s Hong Kong’s digital journey was the successful launch of the McDonald’s App in 2020. With over 4 million registered members and approximately 1 in 2 Hong Kong citizens using the app, it became a powerhouse for personalized offers, exclusive promotions, mobile ordering, and convenient payments. This shift towards digital engagement set the stage for McDonald’s Hong Kong’s venture into the world of web3.

In 2023, McDonald’s Hong Kong launched an exciting campaign centered around a beloved menu item — Chicken McNuggets. This campaign was designed to be multi-dimensional, blending physical and digital experiences to captivate a diverse range of customers.

“The company’s overall vision is to embrace innovation, exceed customer expectations, and shape the future of the Quick service restaurant industry. With a strong focus on digital transformation and a commitment to providing exceptional experiences, McDonald’s Hong Kong continues to thrive and serve the Hong Kong community.”

Introducing McNuggets Land on The Sandbox

As part of their web3 journey, McDonald’s Hong Kong created “McNuggets Land” on The Sandbox platform. This digital exhibition and game allowed users to explore a virtual McNuggets-themed world, bridging the gap between the real and virtual realms. It’s a testament to their commitment to innovation, customer engagement, and shaping the future of the quick-service restaurant industry.

Why The Sandbox?

The decision to build on The Sandbox platform was strategic. The Sandbox offers a dynamic web3 environment that empowers brands to create immersive and captivating experiences for their customers. McDonald’s Hong Kong recognized the potential of this platform to engage customers through innovative and interactive campaigns, aligning with evolving preferences and expectations.

“By embracing The Sandbox’s technology and community, we can amplify our brand awareness and attract new customers who are already immersed in the web3 space. This involvement allows us to showcase our commitment to embracing digital innovation and staying at the forefront of industry trends.”

Moreover, being involved with The Sandbox allowed McDonald’s Hong Kong to extend its reach and connect with a broader audience. By embracing The Sandbox’s technology and community, they could amplify brand awareness and attract new customers already immersed in the web3 space.

Achieving Success with The Sandbox

The results of McDonald’s Hong Kong’s venture into The Sandbox have been impressive, with several key performance indicators (KPIs) standing out:

1. Enhanced Brand Exposure: McDonald’s Hong Kong extended its brand exposure, reaching a wider audience, including the web3 community. This increased visibility positively impacted brand recognition and helped them connect with a new and engaged audience.

2. Interactive and Memorable Experiences: The Sandbox’s web3 platform allowed the creation of interactive and memorable experiences that captured the attention and interest of the target audience, fostering deeper connections with customers.

3. Differentiation and Innovation: By embracing The Sandbox’s technology, McDonald’s Hong Kong demonstrated its commitment to innovation and positioned itself as a forward-thinking brand, setting itself apart from competitors.

4. Community Engagement: The Sandbox’s community-oriented environment facilitated engagement with the target audience, enabling interaction, feedback gathering, and the building of a sense of community around the brand, fostering stronger brand loyalty and advocacy.

Embracing Web3 Culture

In McNuggets Land on The Sandbox, McDonald’s Hong Kong takes storytelling to new heights. They share captivating tales and the rich history of Chicken McNuggets, allowing the audience not only to passively engage with the stories but also to actively participate through interactive elements and mini-games.

“By combining storytelling, interactive gameplay, incentives, and the integration of physical art, our marketing approach in McNuggets Land on The Sandbox encapsulates the essence of web3 culture. It creates a dynamic and immersive experience that captivates audiences, fosters community participation, and delivers both digital and real-world utility.”

To embrace the utilities concept of web3, McDonald’s Hong Kong introduced an exciting incentive. Winners of the mini-games within McNuggets Land have the chance to enjoy a year of Chicken McNuggets for free, adding an extra layer of enjoyment and value to their experience.

In a unique blend of the digital and physical worlds, McDonald’s Hong Kong further extends the web3 experience by connecting it to their physical art exhibition. Visitors to the exhibition can design their own McNuggets art pieces, which can then be showcased within McNuggets Land on The Sandbox, creating a seamless connection between the virtual and physical realms.

This marketing approach in McNuggets Land encapsulates the essence of web3 culture, delivering dynamic and immersive experiences that captivate audiences, foster community participation, and provide both digital and real-world utility.

Future Plans in Web3 and The Sandbox

As McDonald’s Hong Kong continues its journey in the web3 space, they remain committed to storytelling, community engagement, and utility. Their focus is on staying web3-first and finding innovative ways to reward their community, building stronger connections with their customers, and delivering unique experiences that resonate in the digital age.

With deeper activations that directly link the brand to fans through digital ownership and rewards coming to The Sandbox, there’s an exciting era of metaverse exploration ahead for McDonald’s Hong Kong. They are dedicated to embracing emerging technologies, setting new trends, and shaping the future of customer engagement in the quick-service restaurant industry.

“McDonald’s Hong Kong aims to engage and delight customers through this innovative web3 campaign, highlighting our commitment to embracing emerging technologies and providing unique experiences that resonate with our audience.”

As we look to the future, McDonald’s Hong Kong serves as a shining example of how brands can adapt and thrive in the ever-evolving digital landscape. Their journey in the metaverse is a testament to their commitment to innovation, exceptional customer experiences, and staying ahead of the curve. McDonald’s Hong Kong’s McNuggets Land on The Sandbox is not just a campaign; it’s a pioneering step into the future of marketing and branding.