Unilever’s augmented reality smartphone game is on

9 March 2017 (Last Updated March 9th, 2017 09:56)

To enhance its brand image and create a buzz, Unilever is exploring a new marketing channel – a PokemonGo-like mobile app game, where consumers have an opportunity to win tangible prizes.

Unilever’s augmented reality smartphone game is on

To enhance its brand image and create a buzz, Unilever is exploring a new marketing channel – a PokemonGo-like mobile app game, where consumers have an opportunity to win tangible prizes. Augmented reality offers a range of new opportunities to interact with consumers the way they enjoy it, taking advertisement and marketing to a whole new level.

To add excitement to their interaction with consumers, the FMCG giant is exploring a new, more entertaining marketing channel. Unilever has invested in a smartphone game “Snatch”, in the style of the recently popular game PokemonGo in the UK.

Consumers will have to use the map to look for parcels in augmented reality, and once the parcel is found, they will have to defend it for six hours to protect it from their less lucky counterpart players who are also on the lookout for prizes.

A successful player will be able to exchange his virtual parcel into a real-world prize – a physical parcel from a shop or restaurant involved in the promotion. The prize will contain giveaways and offers from participating brands, such as TopShop, All Bar One, and Now TV. A year of university fees is among top prizes.

Unlike its counterpart PokemonGo, Snatch offers consumers a tangible reward, making it easier for consumers to justify the time spent playing.

This new marketing technique combines real-time gaming, augmented reality, and branded prizes, opening up a huge unexplored field of opportunities in advertisement. 

Gamification of augmented reality advertisement space, which capitalizes on what consumers already like doing, has all the chances of becoming the most preferred advertising channel by the younger generations, due to their greater preference for gaming and amount of available leisure time. 

In addition to being entertaining, this marketing technique is less intrusive, with consumers choosing to interact with brands, rather than feeling  bombarded with advertisement messages,  which is a valuable asset for advertisements.  According to research from the Aimia Institute, owner of Sainsbury's Nectar loyalty programme, over a half (57%) of UK consumers are actively taking steps to avoid brands which bombard them with poorly targeted communications. This highlights the importance of novel fun channels consumers enjoy and are excited about.