Image showing a selection of phones featuring wallpaper designs created as part of McDonald's Donation Wallpaper scheme

McDonald’s hijacks phone wallpapers for donation drive

Leo Burnett Taiwan developed an initiative that turns smartphone payments into an opportunity to raise funds for the Ronald McDonald House Charities

In Taiwan, every shopping receipt doubles as a ticket to enter the national lottery scheme, with prizes ranging from NT$200 (around £5) to NT$10 million (around £270,000).

Many people in Taiwan leave their receipts in donation boxes in stores around the country – including at McDonald’s, where winnings go towards funding the Ronald McDonald House Charities.

Image showing a person scanning the barcode on a custom McDonald's phone wallpaper

As more and more people use digital payments, there has been a decline in receipts, so Leo Burnett Taiwan devised Donation Wallpaper.

The concept revolves around a collection of 35 phone wallpapers designed by up-and-coming artists. Each design features a barcode, which sends the receipt – and the lottery ticket – straight to Ronald McDonald House Charities whenever it’s scanned by a cashier in any store across Taiwan (not just McDonald’s).

It’s a smart, tech-first solution that not only deals with the lack of lottery tickets being left in donation boxes, but also shows how brands can put themselves right under people’s noses by quietly hijacking something as commonplace as a phone wallpaper.

The initiative has already led to an uptick in donations to Ronald McDonald House Charities. Given its effectiveness so far, it would be nice if the technology was compatible with other charities, not only those associated with global brands like McDonald’s.