In a climate where brands like Hungry Jacks were succeeding with “check in to win” style campaigns, McDonalds were looking for opportunities to go beyond the basics, and engage an audience with fun and rewarding social gaming experiences.

The brief from McDonalds was for the creation of a loyalty style application that inspired “Kidults” to check in and engage with McDonalds restaurants. Kidults can be defined as adults that while mature and successful, are inclined to kid centric things like cartoons, anime, video games, collecting and socialising through devices rather than face to face.
Importantly, the brief asked for a solution that not only combined elements of gaming, location check in, evolving rewards and social engagement – it needed to be live within 2 months…eeek!


Check in to create your own virtual McDonalds, grow a community of little peeps, play social games and win fantastic prizes.

The “Little Peeps” game concept draws on the audiences love of collection, mobile and sims style games, digital kudos and social integration. “Peeps” – often used to refer to a person’s circle friends, are animated as being dropped into the game environment every time you check in; a micro reward motivating return foot traffic. The more you check in, the more little peeps there are having a great time at your restaurant.  Checking in also unlocks virtual rewards to customise your restaurant and games to play against friends and others checked in.


As a concept piece that never was, we can view the concept creation as the project itself.  The greatest result being a user tested, robust solution that more than answers the clients brief, while still being technically achievable in the short time frame.  The concept development evolved over 2-3 weeks to a focused and engaging result.  There’s a lot of extras that come to mind when exploring a concept that merges “Sims” style play, social gaming, loyalty and check-ins.  However, it’s what we left on the cutting room floor that makes the real difference for a concept that manages a balance between creativity, fun and focused production.

The greatest result for us came from the client feedback in our final pitch;

“You’re the last team to present and I can tell you that this blows everything else away.  This is amazing. You’ve absolutely nailed the brief, we just can’t wait to get this moving!”  A fantastic result for team Nomad, but alas – the project was not meant to be.  After weeks of follow-up, we were advised that the potential of our concept sparked a larger conversation around McDonald’s lack of strategy in the app and game space and the direction shifted from creation back to strategy.

This was in part a disappointing experience for us, however, it positively shaped our approach to unpaid pitches and a self-belief in the amazing work our team of Little Peeps can create :)


“…This is amazing. You’ve absolutely nailed the brief, we just can’t wait to get this moving!”