Augmented Reality adds computerized graphics and sounds to the natural world as it exists. It matches what you are actually viewing in the real world with a virtual, computer generated scene, adding extra information to what your eyes actually see. It has been around for a while but recently it is being used to give consumers a unique personal experience.
Last year McDonald’s launched an augmented reality campaign that aimed to increase Happy Meal sales by engaging consumers via a Smurfs promotion. McDonald’s created a mobile Smurf game that, when inside a McDonald’s location, came to life. Smurf avatars decorated the restaurant and unlocked additional Smurf fun for consumers.
Kids were able to turn themselves into Smurfs and take part in the game to help garden with Papa Smurf. Kids learned what plants need to grow and practiced this knowledge by taking care of the digital plants on the screen.
Why did this work? In-restaurant signage brought the individuals’ game to life. That is pretty incredible. Kids were able to ‘Smurf-ize’ themselves and see themselves on screen. The whole Smurfs campaign, from the mobile game, to signage, to the Smurf Happy Meal toys were flawlessly integrated, therefore creating growth and higher sales of Happy Meals.