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McDonald's Turns Placemats Into Little Music Production Stations Connected to Your Phone


Wasn't it fun when we were kids to doodle on restaurants' paper placements with crayons? Well, McDonald's has introduced a high-tech, musical version of that sort of play with McTrax—a snazzy placemat that acts like a little music production station.

TBWA\Neboko in the Netherlands created McTrax. The placemat, developed with This Page Amsterdam, uses conductive ink, a small battery and a thin circuit board with 26 digital touchpoints. You put you phone on it, download an app and make music with in-house produced audio loops, synths and musical effects. You can also record your own voice.

See it in action here:

"The paper of the placemat is what makes this technique so innovative," TBWA creative technologist Radha Pleijsant and digital design lead Jan Jesse Bakker said in a statement. "The phone merely acts as the speaker and screen, which is easily connected to the placemat via Bluetooth, making the sure you can hear the music on your speakers."

"This placemat brings technique, engagement and entertainment together making it 'experience advertising,' " added chief creative officer Darre van Dijk.

"This is exactly what McDonald's is; a place to have fun and experience great moments, for everyone," said Erwin Dito, director of marketing, communications and consumer insight for McDonald's Netherlands.

Client: McDonald's Nederland
App and tech development: This Page Amsterdam
Placemat development: Novalia, Londen
Programmed beats: Darius Dante

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