McDonald’s New Urban HQ Doesn’t Skimp on Digital Experiences


McDonald’s, the reigning king of QSR and fast food, seems not to have been soured on digital experiences despite a rather unappetizing scandal with previous touchscreen rollouts. In fact, their new 480,000-square-foot, Gensler-designed global headquarters in the West Loop neighborhood of Chicago is chock-full of interactive digital installations for corporate employees to enjoy.

Dubbed by the some 2,000 locals in the know as simply ‘MHQ ,’ this impressive space brought the company’s home base out of the suburbs and into an urban environment. Now, this new building offers eight floors of interactivity and some serious brand pride thanks to McDonald’s Agency One TwentyThree and the neighborhood’s own Leviathan – one of several creative agencies behind this DSE 2018 APEX Award Installation of the Year winner.  

“In collaboration with Agency One TwentyThree and with their strategic insight and direction, we set out to design the digitally unexpected, to deliver innovative stories that resonate with visitors, placing humans at the forefront of technology,” said Leviathan’s Chief Creative Officer Jason White. “The resulting experiences are thoughtful and impactful, reinforcing the magnificent, multifaceted McDonald’s Corporation of the present and the future.”

The experience begins with the lobby’s LED screen and dynamic original content, which offsets the luxurious Global Menu Restaurant on Carpenter Street and Randolph Street. The second floor offers the largest interactive experience on the premises and greets managers in training at ‘Hamburger University.’ Responding to motion and touch, and capable of accommodating scores of interactions simultaneously, this engine educates through use of interactive timelines and an expansive video archive. The rest of the second and third floor is dedicated to interactive displays that explain Ronald McDonald House charities with a kiosk and touchscreen that presents information in a large-scale mosaic style.

In addition, the Hall of Visionaries installation on the eighth floor, the one with the executive offices, is triggered by motion and plays mini biopics of prominent McDonald’s alumni. Leviathan’s solution for all installations in MHQ are driven by a single, robust CMS. Check out the video below for a closer look at these elegant digital implementations.

“In short,” concluded Leviathan’s Jason White, “we’ve co-created a revolutionary visitor experience that inspires, empowers, and builds everlasting impressions. And the adventure continues with McDonald’s leadership: We have just been invited by McDonald’s Agency One TwentyThree to help create two exciting new MHQ interactives that will debut in the months ahead.”


About Author

Jason Kushner is a videographer, editor, writer and filmmaker living in the Greater Atlanta Area. With an educational background combining film and journalism, Kushner has shot video and written for a myriad of publications and multimedia projects including Creative Loafing Tampa,, Starline Films and Digital Signage Connection. His 2009 documentary American Colonies: Collapse of the Bee became an Official Selection at 12 international film festivals, won Best Documentary at the 2009 Central Florida Film Festival and a John Muir Gold Award at the 2009 Yosemite Film Festival.  In 2015, he became Digital Media Editor for Digital Signage Expo, LightShow West and LED Specifier Summit and has since become Digital Content Manager for those shows’ parent company, Exponation.

Leave A Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Send this to a friend