McDo PH signs up with Kidzania Manila

McDonald’s Philippines confirmed that it will be setting up shop inside the highly-anticipated KidZania Manila, a P1-billion miniature city and theme park scheduled to open in Bonifacio Global City next year.

Kids entering the scaled-down city can dress up in real-life uniforms and role-play different careers in 70 establishments inside the 8,000 square meter complex. And to make it as close to real life, the Mexican company enlisted brands to create working restaurants, banks and even airports.

McDonald’s will be building a burger shop inside KidZania Manila to get kids aged four to 12 behind the kitchen and teach them how to build their own McDonald’s Cheeseburger step by step.

At the same time when the kids are having fun, brands also get a chance to teach them life skills like discipline and following directions and be part of an experience they will most likely cherish, remember and share.

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Margot Torres, senior vice president for marketing & communications at McDonald's Philippines, considers Kidzania as a golden example of experiential marketing at work.

"Experential [marketing] for us is McMuffin Day. We want you to experience the brand and not just watch TV commercials and tell you that our McMuffins tastes great.”

“This [Kidzania] is experiential marketing to the ultimate for kids because kids can now experience the brand for themselves. Imagine the impact and value of them saying “My first burger I ever made was a McDonald’s burger,” she shares with Marketing.

33 more brands on the way

Maricel Pangilinan-Arenas, governor of KidZania Manila and President and CEO of Play Innovations Inc, confirmed that McDonald’s is one of 34 confirmed brand partners who have signed up for this unique mix of CSR and marketing.

Pangilinan-Arenas explained that slots in KidZania is not offered via a pitch process, but instead approaches brands following an initial list of companies they believe can be easily recognized by kids.

Asked if the McDonald’s deal is exclusive, she said that the brand lineup inside KidZania in a specific country can be “tweaked” in response to local tastes and demands. In fact, out of the 16 Kidzania parks already up, only 6 of them have McDonald’s burger shops inside. (Santa Fe, Monterey, Lisbon, Bangkok, Dubai, Philippines).

“Local companies are all too aware that there are so few opportunities like this for children and to engage them in way only KidZania can,” she adds.