- Tyson Foods' Ball Park Franks this month sponsored the first branded augmented reality (AR) game that theatergoers can play before seeing a movie, the company announced. Since Aug. 9, Ball Park's Hot Dog Derby has been available in Noovie Arcade, an app developed by in-theater ad network National CineMedia.
- The game is a virtual version of common in-stadium derby races that challenge baseball fans to race against a team mascot between innings. Theaters with National CineMedia's Noovie pre-show will prompt audiences to open the Noovie Arcade app and point a smartphone at the big screen to play.
- Smartphone screens will then show an immersive view of Ball Park hot dogs racing against each other in a virtual stadium filled with screaming fans. Players can check their live game scores and compare them to other audience members within the mobile app.
Ball Park's sponsorship of an AR game in National CineMedia's pre-movie show is an interactive way to reach a captive audience of moviegoers while keeping them entertained with gamified content that showcase its brand. Because the game appears before G- and PG-rated movies, the audience most likely consists of families and kids who are key targets for Ball Park's promotional efforts on mobile. Younger audiences are typically more difficult to reach through traditional media like TV and print, potentially making in-theater experiences more compelling for advertisers.
By partnering with a major consumer brand like Tyson's Ball Park Franks, National CineMedia can demonstrate how its in-theater ad network and Noovie app helps companies reach audiences and entertain them with interactive, brand-safe content.
The Noovie Shuffle web app aims to engage movie fans with film-related content even when they're not sitting in theaters. In June, National CineMedia added games to the app to promote Disney and Pixar's "Toy Story 4." It also worked with Disney on the studio's promotion for "Ralph Breaks the Internet" with a similar AR mobile game in theaters. Before that, National Cinemedia debuted an in-theater AR horror experience to engage moviegoers seeing PG-13 or R-rated movies.