McDonald's is reportedly the next big brand that wants to capitalise on the rapid growth in the metaverse. The fast-food major is believed to have filed 10 trademarks, including for McCafé, with the US Patent and Trademark Office, for its foray into the metaverse.
One of the trademarks, filed on February 4, is for "virtual food and beverage products." Another one is for "operating a virtual restaurant online featuring home delivery".
This will enable the organisation to set up a chain of restaurants in the metaverse that will take orders online and deliver at your home or in the metaverse. The virtual food and beverages are likely to be in the form of downloadable multimedia files that will have artwork, text, audio, videos, and non-fungible, per a Times of India article.
According to a Twitter post by trademark lawyer Josh Gerben, "You are hanging out in the metaverse and get hungry. You don't have to put down your headset. You walk into a McDonald's and place an order. It arrives at your door a little while later."
Gerben told Forbes that McDonald's is likely to be awarded all the trademarks it has filed for after the due process of scrutiny, which takes the US Patent and Trademark Office about nine months.
There are also trademarks for virtual events and entertainment services, including "online actual and virtual concerts" under the same McDonald's and McCafé brand names.
In February, the company had partnered with Humberto Leon, co-founder of Opening Ceremony (a fashion brand), to launch a zodiac collection in the metaverse. It is called McDonald's Hall of Zodiacs: 2022 Lunar New Year and is the first-ever cross-media collaboration to happen.
The initiative aims to leverage the festivities of the Lunar New Year, the most prominent Chinese festival celebrated from February 1-15. The collection features animal designs of zodiacs that are created by Leon.
McDonald's "has always been committed to embracing and celebrating the universality of all cultures," said Leon. "Kicking off Lunar New Year with McDonald's in a way that underscores the creativity and innovation of the Asian American community makes me proud to offer a true expression of my identity and the influences that have shaped it, to which I know many will relate." Leon is a Chinese-Peruvian American, and his vision stems from his cross-cultural background.
Driving the point home, Elizabeth Campbell, senior director of cultural engagement at McDonald's, said the timing was perfect for the company to enter the metaverse. She said the Year of the Tiger symbolised "bravery, strength, and confidence", creating the ideal opportunity for the venture.
"We're honoured to celebrate this Lunar New Year through his (Leon's) art expressions and hope our fans will enjoy this very cool and celebratory experience with us," said Campbell.
Nike, Adidas, Louis Vuitton, and many such established names across industries have been exploring the vast potential of the metaverse.
"I think you're going to see every brand that you can think of make these filings within the next 12 months," Gerben told Forbes. "I don't think anyone wants to completely ignore a new technology."