- Mondelez International's Oreo brand introduced a mobile scavenger hunt that uses augmented reality (AR), along with a TV commercial and four videos for social media, according to Digiday. "The Great Oreo Cookie Quest" gives players clues on where to find hidden virtual cookies in everyday objects, then uses image-recognition technology to confirm the player found the digital Oreo overlaid on the real world via a smartphone. For example, clues like "What puts hands on your wrist?" signal users to point their phone camera at a wristwatch to reveal an Oreo cookie that's only visible on the screen.
- Players can accrue points for each cookie found, compare their scores to friends on Facebook or Twitter and enter a sweepstakes to win a trip to Africa or Google's headquarters in California, as the game is part of the cookie brand's partnership with Google that began in August 2017, per Digiday. Other Google-themed prizes in the game include Google play points or Pixel phones.
- The Martin Agency created the game with Carat and Gravity Jack. The game debuted in the U.K. for iOS and Android at the end of January and will roll out in Europe, Russia, Latin America and possibly the U.S. depending on the game's early performance.
Interactive games like "Cookie Quest" aim to transform passive audiences into active participants who engage with brands via mobile devices that are usually nearby. By leveraging increasingly sophisticated smartphones, marketers can reach a variety of target audiences in an entertaining, gamified fashion to spark interest in a product or drive brand buzz. In this case, Oreo saw a brand opportunity to connect with mobile gamers and ride the success of the hit AR game Pokemon Go to create a physical brand experience at scale. The partnership also gives Oreo access to Google's advanced tech and advertising resources.
The "Cookie Quest" app is the first time Oreo has tried a social AR game, but the brand has used image recognition tech before, with another app made with Google. "Oreo Dunk Challenge" let users scan a digital cookie and send it on a voyage around the world through Google Earth. The recent efforts with Google are part of the companies' partnership to cross-promote their products. Google named the latest version of its Android operating system Oreo in August, continuing its years-long practice of naming versions after sweets, such as KitKat, Eclair and Nougat. The two companies also co-created a superhero named Android Oreo that was inspired by the solar eclipse.
Mobile AR technology, which includes Apple ARKit, Google ARCore, Facebook Camera Effects and Snap Lens Studio, could quadruple from an installed base of 900 million users by the end of this year to 3.5 billion by 2022, per a forecast by Digi-Capital. AR scavenger hunts are becoming more popular among major brands as the technology has evolved and become less expensive and time-consuming to produce after Apple and Google introduced more developer support for AR apps. Disney, Sony Pictures, Warner Bros., Tilly's, Unilever and Universal Pictures all have introduced AR treasure hunts to promote their products in the past 12 months.