There was no better way to bring multigenerational Latino communities together to celebrate Latino Heritage Month than with a traditional game that has been part of the culture for hundreds of years.
This year, in celebration of Latino Heritage Month, McDonald’s and the creative director and founder of the famous game Millennial Lotería, Mike Alfaro, partnered to design a special McDonald’s themed edition of the iconic game Lotería, sometimes referred to as the “Mexican Bingo.”
Alfaro is a Latino artist who grew up in Guatemala. At age 18, he moved to California to study at Chapman University. In 2010, he graduated with a BA degree in advertising and public relations. In addition to his partnership with McDonald’s, Alfaro has previously collaborated with Doritos, Jack in the Box, Honda, DC Comics, HBO, Target, Taco Bell, Maker’s Mark Whiskey and Walt Disney Pictures.
The Millennial Lotería game was created by Alfaro back in 2017. It brings a modern twist on the classic Lotería game and takes it to an entirely new level by reimagining the characters and updating their labels with trendy terms and slang from both Spanish and English to appeal to younger Millennial audiences. It “is a party game for a new Latino generation,” as the game’s official website states.
“Representation is a big part of why I started Millennial Lotería,” Alfaro told CALÓ NEWS.
With the representation of Latino heritage and culture in mind, McDonald’s contacted Alfaro to design the special edition of the game. Engaging with the large Latino community of Southern California by providing a familiar game in a familiar community hub – that hub being McDonald’s restaurants – to fuel Latino pride is one of McDonald’s main goals.
The McDonald’s special edition of the Lotería game was provided exclusively to restaurants across Southern California at game night events beginning October 5 until the end of October in select locations across Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside and Ventura counties. Participants will have a chance to win a limited-edition McDonald’s-themed game, among many other prizes like gift cards and t-shirts. The McDonald’s-themed game will also be available to fans to win through Millennial Loteria’s social media giveaways.
“For Hispanic Heritage Month [McDonald’s] wanted to do something that really talked to the Latino consumer here in Southern California, because we love playing Lotería but also that it incorporated that nostalgia of going into Mcdonald’s as a kid,” Alfaro said.
In Latin America, the classic Loteria game is commonly played at birthday parties and other celebrations. The game is a great way for the community to bond while engaging in a fun activity. Bringing the McDonald’s-themed version of the game to the Southern California communities is designed to engage Latinos from all generations, from the older folks who have played the classic game to kids who love getting their Happy Meals at McDonald’s.
Appealing to the bilingual culture of Latinos in Southern California was another goal of the game’s design process. Alfaro said that he achieved this goal by making the creative decision to write the labels of the lotería cards in Spanglish, which is a combination of Spanish and English words.
“I made sure that there’s Spanglish in this version. I wanted to make something that represented how bilingual and bicultural the communities that live here are,” Alfaro said.
The first Lotería game night launched on Oct. 5 and took place in Whittier, California. According to Alfaro, the game night consisted of multiple rounds of lotería, making sure that there were a wide number of winners. It was a special night for Alfaro, he said, as he got the opportunity to interact with fans, players, McDonald’s employees and managers.
“Our event was in Whittier and I got so many comments from people being like ‘Oh my gosh! Events like this don’t happen in Whittier. Thank you so much for coming to the community,’” Alfaro said.
Reflecting upon the success of the first game night, Alfaro has high hopes to one day expand beyond Southern California to host numerous events like the McDonald’s-themed Loteria Game nights.
The game-night events required no purchase from participating McDonald’s restaurants to join the game, although food will be available for sale during the events.
For more information about Alfaro, you can visit mikealfaro.com or check him out on linkedin as Mike Alfaro. To learn more about the McDonald’s-themed Lotería you can visit Millennial Loteria on instagram @millennialloteria.