Ronald McDonald Houses in Sweden have teamed up with ad agency NORD DDB and game design company Karta to launch a digital house on Roblox to help seriously ill children connect with their friends during treatment.
Roblox is an online gaming platform in which users can design and program their own games as well as play one another’s games. The platform first debuted in 2006 and now has more than 58 million active daily users, according to DemandSage.
But it’s recently become more popular as a platform for brands to explore advertising campaigns in metaverse-like experiences — and boost interactions with their audience.
Chipotle, Invisalign and Duolingo have all hopped onto Roblox. Most recently, the National Football League launched a new experience in Fortnite Creative where football fans can gather to interact with the NFL.
Medical marketers recognized this emerging trend and have jumped on it to assist brands in interfacing with patients around the world.
The Ronald McDonald digital house was designed with input from the children themselves, according to a video from the campaign released Thursday.
In the video, children describe a house they’d like to hang out in virtually with their friends — where four seasons exist simultaneously, complete with a pool and an area to go tobogganing.
Ronald McDonald Houses worldwide are designed to provide temporary homes for ill children and their families when they relocate for specialized treatments at hospitals. The idea of creating a virtual home is meant to help kids battle homesickness and stay connected with friends and even meet other sick children virtually.
“We are happy to be able to contribute with something we know that the children will appreciate – a house of their own for them and their friends,” Staffan Ekstam, marketing director at McDonald’s Sweden, said in a statement.
Currently, the digital house is only available for kids who stay in Ronald McDonald Houses in Sweden, but they can invite their own friends from home.
“It has been so much fun to experience the children’s creative thoughts and to realize their ideas and dreams,” Tony Barnes, COO and co-founder at Karta, said in a statement.
The project will be long-term, in which the digital house will be updated every year. The campaign will also be distributed via multiple channels, including film, print, DOOH, radio and social media.