Halloween is hardly in the rear-view mirror, but Coca-Cola is ready to completely bypass Thanksgiving to speed up the arrival of Christmas, and the brand has invoked augmented reality as an accomplice.
On Tuesday, the company introduced its holiday packaging for its Coca-Cola products with its long-running polar bear mascots on cans, bottles and multi-packages, with Santa Claus in charge of six-pack glass bottle carriers.
This time, however, customers can take the polar bears to life with augmented reality. With the Coca-Cola app for iOS or Android, consumers can scan the cans and bottles of cola with a holiday theme to transform the packaging into a digital recreation of the winter domain of the polar bears.
"We wanted to give fans a fun new way to interact with the brand and the bring the magic of the polar bears to life, "said Allie Blalock, digital engagement manager for Coca-Cola North America, in a statement.
If you are not familiar with the polar bears of the company, they were first made famous in 1993 in an iconic commercial (see below) called "Northern Lights."
In addition to bringing the polar bears to AR, you can also use the app to scan different variations of bottles and cans, which deliver different AR scenes, including the sled scene from the company holiday 2013 advertising campaign, snowball fights and light shows for holidays.
In addition, scanning two cans together provides an interpretation of "Jingle Bells" played by the characters on glass bottles.
The brand's internal creative agency, Coca-Cola Digital Platforms, collaborated with the San Francisco-based Tactic Studio to create the AR experiences.
Based on his track record, Coca-Cola seems to prefer the method to use AR experiences with image recognition to reward customers for their purchase.
For example, in a timely promotion that did not fall on other holidays, Coca-Cola had a sponsored lens in September with a college football theme via Snapchat that unlocked an AR fanfare when users scan Coca-Cola products through the rear camera. (However, without a purchase, users could show their team spirit with forward-looking filters.)
And they are not alone in this strategy, because AR has found its way to packaging for drinks and wine, as well as toys and shoes via object recognition platforms.
With Apple, Google, Facebook, Snapchat, Zappar and 8th Wall, among others, tools for generating image and object recognition offer AR experiences, there is no shortage of options for retail brands to add digital value to their products.
But just because we have the technology does not mean that we should abuse it. So, please, marketing chefs there, don't wait until the Christmas promotions until I can get at least one portion of turkey, gravy, stuffing and cranberry sauce, please!