Augmented Reality: Budweiser Uses Blippar To Power Campaign Designed To Generate “Smiles”

Augmented Reality: Budweiser Uses Blippar To Power Campaign Designed To Generate “Smiles”Blippar, the UK-based augmented reality app that lets you overlay digital information on real-world images, is coming to the U.S. market, and Budweiser is one of the first brands to take advantage of it.  In a new campaign that incorporates NASCAR driver Kevin Harvick, Budweiser is building AR technology into its packaging and marketing materials to let fans create unique, engaging experiences around the brand.

The “blippable” images will appear on Budweiser  beer cans, packaging, posters and images on the internet — like the one on the right.  (In fact, you can download the Blippar app to an Android or Iphone or Ipad to check it out for yourself right now. I had a ton of fun doing that.)

Fans who hold their devices up to the Budweiser logo will see a series of different experiences, such as the chance to take their picture with NASCAR driver Kevin Harvick, and behind-the-scenes video content.  The content will be updated periodically, and will include  special offers and exclusive deals.

Blippar, which was introduced in the UK in the summer of 2011, is based on image recognition technology, which allows marketers to engage fans with creative that’s a step up from “traditional” QR codes.  The only other brands currently using it in the U.S. are Maybelline, which is using Blippar to let consumer try on different nailpolishes, and Justin Bieber, who is using it to launch an album.

According to Russell Ward, Digital Publicist of Budweiser Racing, the campaign’s goals are to connect with consumers in a unique way, using the most cutting edge technology available.  How will the brand measure ROI?  “This campaign will be measured in smiles,” Ward says.  “Yes, we will be keeping an eye on downloads and discussions etc.  But positive engagement with our customers is the end goal.  It is a chance to give back.”

Budweiser is not new to embedding digital experiences into its packaging. This spring, the company used QR codes to let fans “track their Bud.”  And NASCAR fans are are very active participants in realtime media (scroll down to the Twitter comments from NASCAR fans), so the tie-in with NASCAR may be a smart way for Bud to create an engaging connection with digitally active fans.

To see how the campaign works, check out this video:
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Learn how to Blip a Budweiser Blippable image from The Confluence on Vimeo.

What do you think?  Will Blippar catch on with brands — and their fans?

And how did your picture with Kevin Harvick turn out?  Our commenting system lets you embed images, so feel free to share your snapshots here!