Cannes Lions



Case Film
Case Film
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Australia has one of the highest smartphone penetrations in the world, with 87% of people owning a smartphone, and just under 40% of people owning a tablet. These devices have become known as the 'digital nanny', as they are frequently used by parents of young children between the ages 4 and 8, to keep them entertained and provide some relief for parents, especially when out in public spaces such as restaurants. However, parents are mindful of the content that their children watch and interact with. They look for educational experiences for their kids that are more than empty entertainment or repetitive play; they want to know that their children are interacting with something that will offer genuine developmental benefits beyond entertainment and distraction.


Emlings was created in consultation with child development experts and parents to ensure that it offers kids aged 4-8 true developmental value without losing any of the magic. Launched in every McDonald’s restaurant in Australia and New Zealand, Emlings is a platform that kids can engage with again and again. Each month, a new, unique tribe of Emlings can be found hiding in the Happy Meal box using the app, bringing with them new colours, sounds and textures. And unlike the traditional plastic toy, these characters are randomly generated, which means there’s more than 144,000,000 different Emlings waiting to be discovered.


Emlings first week of activity saw more than 22,000 downloads without any external media support, proving that the platform is genuinely engaging kids in restaurant. More than 220,000 games were played, 120,000+ Emlings were rescued, 3,800+ Tribe Emlings were found in Happy Meals, and the app was collectively played for 530 days worth of gameplay – all within one week.

Within the first month, Emlings passed 110,000 downloads, averaging approximately one new player every 30 seconds.

Average playtime was more than 15 minutes, well above the benchmark of 9.6 minutes, and around 60% of players were returning players, showing that Emlings has lasting appeal among kids.

After a successful launch, Emlings will now roll out internationally, beginning in New Zealand, with plans to extend to other markets including Malaysia, Indonesia, Philippines, Korea and China.

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