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SXSW 2016


Finding a groove at the world’s most important digital gathering.

The Challenge


Here’s a brand innovation challenge: you’re a fast-food company sponsoring THE high-tech destination event for influencers worldwide. You’re also not, shall we say, highly regarded by this demographic. Acceptance would require McDonald’s to show it understood the culture of SXSW, Austin’s sense of place, and an organic embracing of technology.

Our Approach


We set out to build a sponsor lounge in the convention center, and an event activation across the street. Building off of the architecture and purpose of both spaces, we created two unique yet connected experiences to bring to life their brand message: Create your taste. 


We expanded on this, and allowed multi-user interactions with the physical space to become part of the message: Interactive color-shifting LED sculptures and integrated VR showcases as part of our visual framework. Additionally, custom patterns, illustrations and branding materials called back to SXSW and Austin. 

project detail


Never thought I'd say this but shoutout to the @McDonalds lounge for being the real mvp of sxsw this year.

What We've Done

Brand Strategy

Experiential Design

Interactive Installation

Fave Menu Items


Hot Fudge Sundae


10-piece McNuggets

Big Mac

“The best brand experience of SXSW Interactive—The McDonald's Loft—was not just a place to make your own custom burgers and sundaes... It arguably had the most buzzed about virtual reality experience of the festival.”


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