McDonald's Headquarters Interactives

Merit Award 2020

Leviathan collaborated with McDonald's Agency One TwentyThree, to build a suite of digital learning tools forMcDonald's new global headquarters. Elevating an iconic brand with state-of-the art digital experiences. For McDonald’s executives, employees and visitors alike, the MHQ is now an immersion into an ambitious, globally minded company with a bold vision for a sustainable future, a constant appetite for high-caliber talent, and daily commitments to educational, charitable and social causes. To capitalize on the richness of its history, its initiatives, and its ever-expanding human capital, the company’s Agency One TwentyThree added Leviathan as a key partner to shape-up MHQ’s unique digital offerings.

McDonald’s leaders had numerous ideas for in-depth information they wanted to display creatively throughout MHQ, ranging from simple welcome boards to details promoting corporate initiatives to profiles on donors of the Ronald McDonald House Charities. Prescribing a holistic approach to these communications focal points, Leviathan designed each state-of-the-art digital experience to reinvigorate employee culture and engage the community in ways that promote healthy change for humans and the environment.

While each experience exists within MHQ, individual touchpoints draw content from different business units within the organization governed by unique identity standards and messaging practices. Perfecting each execution required navigating many separate channels for content collection and approvals, as well as seamless aesthetic alignment with each identity. Last but not least, Leviathan set out to facilitate consistent interaction experiences throughout, designing each installation with the ability to scale in content and into different locations.

Beginning with the public facing area, the first assignment graces a large LED screen in the lobby, which is programmed with compelling original content that evolves throughout the day, season to season. On floor two, Leviathan’s largest interactive experience greets Hamburger University management trainees. Responding to physical movement and touch, capable of accommodating scores of interactions simultaneously, this incredibly powerful experience engine educates through elegant use of interactive timelines and an expansive video archive, inviting users to engage directly with the brand’s far-reaching legacy.

A bespoke experience, near the Hamburger University Interactive, a wall with over a hundred wooden-framed digital displays updates to show photos of each university student in current attendance, with fun personal facts and a graduation takeover mode to celebrate class completion. In the background both of these experiences can be easily updated via custom content management systems.

On MHQ’s second floor, visitors will find an educational kiosk dedicated to the Ronald McDonald House Charities. Controlled by touchscreen and using a large-scale mosaic presentation style, the feature is constantly updated to relate the ever-expanding story of RMHC’s vital work, and its impact. Up on the third floor, RMHC donors are showcased in another interactive display, allowing playful sorting and further information discovery related to the charity’s contributors.

Another deep-diving installation on MHQ’s third floor brings the organization’s ongoing quest for sustainability to life vibrantly. Touching the screen begins an exploration of the many ways McDonald’s is using its Scale For Good, leveraging rich media resources to relate quandaries and achievements to educate the most curious minds.

As a suite of intelligently designed interactive portals heightening human engagement from MHQ’s ground floor up, these engagements are highly impactful, by design. As a result of these innovations, MHQ deftly represents the organization’s forward thinking and the rising powers of its talents. Importantly, the augmented space also fosters collaboration and inspires innovation. By all accounts, MHQ is a symbol of McDonald’s journey to transform its brand and become more closely connected with its customers. 

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Jury Comments: 

“Beautiful and seamless integration of digital content within a physical environment. Engaging, dynamic, and surprisingly easy to use. A refreshing take on interactive walls.”

“Thoughtful use of materials, refined iconography, and shifts in scale elevate this system to create rich audience-based experiences. Technology is used to deliver a diverse range of content, make it relative to specific users and areas, and showcase history alongside steps that keep the company and its employees reaching for the cutting edge.”

Design Firms: 




Project Area: 

480,000 sq ft

Open Date: 

June 2018

Photo Credits: 

Gareth Fewel (photography), Leviathan (video)

Design Team: 

Lucy Delgado (executive producer); Kyle Shoup (executive creative director); Adam Berg (head engineer); Austin Mayer (interactive director); David Braun (software engineer); Gareth Fewel (associate creative director and photographer); Madeline Miller (producer); Justin Hoot (account director); Reese Murdock, Ben Van Citters (engineers)


IA Interior Architects, Studio O+A, Gensler, Envoy, Agency One TwentyThree


Wave Guide Consulting, Moss, AVI- SPL

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