- RaceTrac generated 103,000 impressions for a gamified augmented reality (AR) filter targeting baseball fans on Instagram, according to results the company emailed to Mobile Marketer. As MLB teams curtailed fan attendance, the gas station chain created the filter to engage homebound fans with a racing game featuring "The Freeze," a mascot the company started sponsoring at Atlanta Braves games three years ago.
- The filter challenged Instagram users to race against an animated version of the Freeze instead of trying to outrun the mascot at live games. Typically, the "RaceTrac's Beat The Freeze" promotion pits a Braves fan in a race against a grounds crew member dressed in a blue jumpsuit emblazoned with the RaceTrac logo. To play from home, Instagram users had to shake their heads rapidly to run though a virtual tundra of "Swirl World" frozen yogurt for a chance to win Freeze-themed posters, T-shirts and RaceTrac products.
- The convenience store further gamified the Braves' broadcasts by placing a cardboard cutout in the stands and asking viewers to #FindTheFreeze in a Twitter challenge. Fans who participated received a link to the AR race on Instagram. In addition to impressions, the filter was opened 12,900 times, generating 4,600 filter captures, 326 saves on mobile devices and 557 video or photo shares. RaceTrac worked with agency R/GA on the gamified AR filter.
With the coronavirus pandemic preventing many fans from attending live sports events, RaceTrac developed a way to connect with consumers through their mobile devices outside of empty stadiums. By creating a gamified AR filter, RaceTrac engaged thousands of Instagram users in an immersive brand experience to supplant its promotional efforts at the ballpark. A gamification strategy can help to extend the exposure of a campaign among consumers while helping to form positive associations with a brand.
RaceTrac's effort also is notable for using AR content, which is popular millions of people who engage with digital imagery such as filters, lenses and 3D objects. Instagram, Snapchat and TikTok are among the platforms that have added technical support for AR applications in campaigns. Most recently, General Mills' Cinnamon Toast Crunch cereal featured an AR effect in its #CTCVoiceBox challenge that helped the brand to go viral on TikTok. Before that, Bollé this year released an AR experience to let Instagram users virtually try on sunglasses, store chain PetSmart created a gamified AR filter that transformed a Snapchat user's face into a reptile in a push to promote pet sales.
The convenience store has seen positive results from its social media promotions featuring "The Freeze." Last year, the company expanded its Freeze promotion with a dedicated @BeatTheFreeze account on Twitter and videos that appeared on RaceTrac and Braves marketing channels. Its sponsorship of The Freeze mostly reaches the Atlanta market, but RaceTrac's efforts to bring the character to social media can help to raise awareness in other regions.