- Regal, the theater chain with 551 U.S. locations, is hosting an augmented reality (AR) Easter egg hunt that moviegoers can activate by scanning movie posters with the theater's mobile app. Players can win prizes like free popcorn, bonus Regal Crown Club credits and 25% off a credit order in the Regal Reward Center, according to a company announcement.
- To participate in the hunt, moviegoers must open the Regal mobile app and click on the camera icon in the top-right corner of the home screen. The app's AR platform will reveal the hidden egg and its associated prize when pointed at movie posters around the theater.
- The hunt kicked off on April 15 and will run through April 30 at participating Regal locations.
Regal's virtual Easter egg hunt demonstrates how entertainment providers like theater chains can urge people to get out of the house and participate in a mobile-based contest that blends AR technology with in-person activities. Because the prizes include bonus points for its Regal Crown Club and requires players to download the app, the theater chain is working to encourage more moviegoers to download its mobile app and enroll in the loyalty program. From there, Regal can run highly targeted mobile campaigns that provide incentives to return to its theaters for guests to earn more points and redeem rewards.
Regal isn't the only chain hosting virtual Easter egg hunts through a mobile app this year, with coffee chain Caffè Nero launching its second consecutive spring event that lets customers win prizes for participating.
Once brands compel customers to download the app and join the loyalty program, they can capture more detailed information about an individual's spending habits and product preferences. Unlike card-based loyalty programs, a mobile app works in real time and can provide customers personalized content like push notifications about special offers or geotargeted campaigns for customers who opt in to location tracking.
Regal has experimented with AR technology over the past year to provide more entertainment value for moviegoers. The theater chain last year partnered with Moviebill, a print publication like the classic Playbill, to provide more immersive experiences to moviegoers. Regal app users could scan the publication with a smartphone camera to activate AR features that promoted upcoming movie releases and additional content around the film. Similarly, cinema ad network National CineMedia last year debuted an AR horror experience in theaters for those who downloaded its Noovie ARcade app, a move that aimed to drive moviegoers to get the app and tune in to the immersive content.
Theater chains also have expanded the capabilities of their apps to provide more convenience to mobile customers. AMC Theatres in March added a feature that lets customers order ahead for snacks, letting them skip the concessions lines and get back to the film. The company estimated that about 150 locations will offer the food and beverage mobile order option by the end of this summer.