Gol! McDonald's World Cup app turns boxes of fries into field of dreams

McDonald's new Gol! app uses augmented reality to transform boxes of fries into a pixelated pitch so you can pretend you're playing in the World Cup.

Bonnie Burton
Journalist Bonnie Burton writes about movies, TV shows, comics, science and robots. She is the author of the books Live or Die: Survival Hacks, Wizarding World: Movie Magic Amazing Artifacts, The Star Wars Craft Book, Girls Against Girls, Draw Star Wars, Planets in Peril and more! E-mail Bonnie.
Bonnie Burton
2 min read

The new boxes work with a new app for football fun times. McDonald's

Eating fries and playing soccer (that's football, my European friends) are very difficult to do at the same time. But with McDonald's new fry boxes you can play the World Cup app game Gol.

In order to play the full game, you grab the app at gol.mcd.com or search for it in Google Play or the App Store, and buy a box of limited edition FIFA World Cup McDonald Fries from May 26. The familiar red boxes have been replaced with new artwork by designers from around the world to celebrate the upcoming tournament in Brazil.

"This is the first time in brand history we're changing the packaging design of one of our customers' most favorite menu items on a global scale, and what better reason than to share in the excitement of one of the most prestigious sporting events in the world," said Steve Easterbrook, Senior Executive Vice President and Global Chief Brand Officer of McDonald's said in a press release.

"This is about bringing fun, innovative programming to our customers and celebrating our shared love of futbol. We're excited to be able to do that through an engaging, interactive mobile experience."

Once the app is launched, just hold your phone over the fries box to start playing. Using augmented reality, you can test your trick shot skills bouncing the virtual ball off real objects, earning points to win badges and unlock bonuses. Just like in the real tournament, national pride is on the line -- you can represent your country by earning points that are accumulated in the game's world trick-shot leaderboard.

The McDonald's Gol! game was created by Qualcomm's Connected Experiences arm and digital marketing agency Trigger. Using the Qualcomm Vuforia mobile vision platform, the gaming app's Smart Terrain feature makes play spaces (in this case, the football field) from everyday objects (the box).

If you can't find the World Cup fries in your area, a trial trick-shot version of the Gol! app is still available to download from May 26. The tournament itself kicks off on June 12.

To promote the app, and as a sponsor of the World Cup in Brazil, McDonald's launched a new commercial this week that features kids and adults alike showing off their best trick shots using a ball, imagination, and most likely a lot of practice.

Perhaps this fun promotion will take away some of the terror kids are feeling from McDonald's new disturbing Happy Meal mascot.