McDonalds Intros DJ Controller Placemats, Because – Wait For It – You Deserve A Break Today


The Netherlands are known for a lot of things: tulips, windmills, canals, Old Masters, space cakes and, of course, wooden shoes.

Now, McDonalds in The Netherlands is adding something new to the list – DJ placemats:


The McTrax, above, looks like a regular placemat, but it’s also a DJ controller, printed with conductive ink.

You can connect to the placemat wirelessly, via Bluetooth, with your smartphone. And boom – before you can say “I got frites sauce on my MIDI controller!”, you’re using your placemat to make music.

Here’s a demo of the McTrax in action:

McTrax works with a mobile app. letting you select different kinds of music loops, control effects, regulate the tempo and record your own voice.

McTrax is a project of digital ad agency This Page Amsterdam, in conjunction with the agency TBWA/Neboko.

While it’s a marketing promotion – the project makes interesting use of printable conductive inks and highlights that the technology could be practical for other types of projects, too.

Check it out and let us know what you think of DJ controller placemats – and more importantly, the idea of cheap printable music controllers!

20 thoughts on “McDonalds Intros DJ Controller Placemats, Because – Wait For It – You Deserve A Break Today

  1. Looking forward to the ChildhoodObesityTronica tents at the festivals this summer

    Redolent with the scent of fryer grease and sweaty fat kids slurping coca cola

  2. I wonder how much they cost because if they put them out in the UK they are getting robbed or trashed point blank.

  3. I really like that they chose music making as the activity, encouraging people of all types to see their abilities shine with a simple good design.

    This is how you get more innovators and creators instead or users and consumers. This is also how you lower the social barriers that keep people out of the industry.

    Maccers are also involved in true gluten free sections of their restaurants and other really interesting and helpful projects. I guess challenging their ethics with our wallets has made them think a bit more about how they can contribute.

    1. the dark side of the force always tries to look sexy. and they succeed.

      this campagn obviously does not target underprivileged kids. it targets us who are critical towards MDo. and does it work? it does. we are talking about it, although we do not know whether a single kid tried the pad out a single time. nice work, agency!

  4. Just incredible. To think of all the money I spent on synths, sequencers, samplers etc. when all you need now is a frickin’ paper placemat. It’s all moving too fast…

    1. To further the thought – cheap paper MIDI controllers may be a way to spread music literacy to impoverished areas and children who would not otherwise have access to a musical instrument. Granted this McTrax requires a smart phone but if speakers could somehow be incorporated into the controller then this may be a real music education advancement.

      1. Luckily half the world has smart phones. Even in Syria, where there’s not enough food and bombs explode everywhere, everybody’s got a smart phone. Now there are lots of programs that send old, discarded cell phones from developed nations to places that can’t afford them. So you’re raising a REALLY excellent point.

  5. Are there no people over 30 in the Netherlands?
    If they can print out a placemat they can print one much larger. A table top or wall mural would be fun. Remember to wash your hands please.
    I would rather they work to improve drive up window sound systems and clean restrooms.

  6. I bet NI’s maschine is really feeling the burn right now! Move over NI, there’s a new controller that you have to use a computer with out there! Honestly this is amazing, I didn’t realize that the conductive resign was so cheap. I would definetly try this, and then try it again. This makes me think of what board games could be like in the 21st century… Like a whole table place mat where multiple friends interact with a multi player music app.

  7. I just think it is wrong that someone has a promotion sale and does NOT honor it the way they should

    or the fact the dollar menu keeps going bye bye

  8. The era of the dj is coming to a close. A McDonald’s with controllers couldn’t be a more obvious death knell.

  9. Dude, c’mon McTrax is the start of everyone being a dj! I can’t wait. I wish my dog was a dj some how! Enroll your kids in DJ summer camp while the gettn’s good

  10. I think this is……and incredibly good idea! They should also put them in bus stops etc to keep kids motivated on positive activities, away from thugs and hard drugs. Have to say…. Mc Dicks set the bar pretty high…

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