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General Mills? Wheaties enlists augmented reality for interactive packaging

General Mills? Wheaties is mobilizing its cereal boxes to trigger engagement when consumers have a few extra minutes to kill while eating breakfast.

Wheaties is using augmented reality to liven up three new boxes featuring National Football League player Adrian Peterson. Wheaties is the latest example of a consumer-packaged goods brand that is leveraging augmented reality as a digital extension to static packaging.

?Our partnership with Blippar allows our consumers to interact with the Wheaties product on a new level,? said Kimberly Seifert, associate marketing manager at Wheaties, Minneapolis.

?It also aligns well with our target customer and offers an interesting way to connect with our Team Wheaties athletes, in this case Adrian Peterson,? she said. ?The campaign will last as long as Wheaties boxes featuring Adrian Peterson are on the shelves.?

Augmented cereal
To see the boxes come to life, consumers must download the Blippar iPhone, Android or BlackBerry application. There is also a call-to-action on boxes that shows consumers how the technology works.

When consumers scan the boxes, the NFL star pops onto the screen and gives users two choices in how to interact with content.

The first option is a mobile game that challenges consumers to help Mr. Peterson score a touchdown by avoiding a team of defensive players.

As players make their way down the field, they can collect cereal bowls and spoons.

At the end of the game, consumers can submit their scores and view a leaderboard with the top scores.

The second option lets consumers pick from two different poses of the athlete to take a picture with. The picture can then be shared via Facebook, Twitter and email or saved to a mobile device?s camera roll.

In addition to the three boxes featuring Mr. Peterson, Wheaties plans to roll out an additional two boxes with the athlete later this fall.

The Wheaties box

Building engagement
This is the second recent Blippar campaign from Wheaties.

Wheaties added a mobile component to the launch of a Tough Mudder-themed box earlier this year. When the box was scanned, mud splattered across the screen and consumers could watch a video of the race.

The mobile experience also let consumers take a photo as a Tough Mudder racer and ?Like? both the team and Wheaties Facebook pages.

Additionally, Wheaties launched a mobile game earlier this year within the PickPointz mobile app as part of its ongoing support for sports (see story).

In this case, augmented reality is an interesting way for the cereal brand to leverage mobile when consumers have a few extra minutes to kill while eating breakfast.

Augmented reality and image recognition also has particularly big implications for consumer-packaged goods brands looking to make packaging interactive.

?Visual discovery is a fantastic means to educate the consumer about the product they've just purchased, explaining how to use it or why it's organic or fair trade, for example, and we'll see a lot more of this in the future,? said Lisa Hu, vice president of business development for North America at Blippar, New York.

?Additionally, we'll also see the use of augmented reality in products that the consumer uses throughout the day, from when they wake up in the morning right through to the end of the evening,? she said.

Final Take
Lauren Johnson is associate reporter on Mobile Marketer, New York