- Verizon is running an augmented reality (AR) scavenger hunt that gives Snapchat users a chance to win Apple's new iPhone XS, according to a statement shared with Mobile Marketer. In the "Score the iPhone" contest, users can find and collect music loops that they arrange into a final mix.
- The game asks players to choose music loops among three genres — rock, hip-hop or dance — and then walk around their surroundings to find AR images that indicate a loop is nearby to capture. After arranging the four loops in any order by shaking their phones, they create a final mix before giving the track a name and submitting it for a chance to win one of 150 phones. The game doesn't require any musical knowledge as it "mixes" the tracks for players.
- Players can scan a Snapcode on the scoretheiphone.com microsite to open the game, which runs Sept. 14-17. The music tracks were created by production company Squeak E Clean, using songs by SZA, Daya, Børns and other artists.
Verizon's scavenger hunt is innovative for combining elements of AR, gaming, music and geolocation technology to engage Snapchat users in an entertaining and creative way. Asking players to create their own music track from the loops they collect while walking around is another way to connect with players in a deeper experience that requires more concentration, helping Verizon to cut through the growing clutter of mobile ads and engage ad-fatigued consumers looking for a chance to win a pricey device. By running the contest through Snapchat, Verizon also reaches an audience of young adults who are less likely to use other social media platforms where a social scavenger hunt typically take place. About one quarter (26%) of millennials use Snapchat at least once a day, compared with 3% of people ages 35 and older, per a YouGov survey that also found a drop in user sentiment toward the image-messaging app following a redesign earlier this year.
By offering users a chance to win a free iPhone XS, the recently announced smartphone that retails for $999 and up, Verizon's promotion seeks to build on the excitement that Apple generates each year with its latest iPhone models. While Apple's event this week didn't include any game-changing announcements, the company is bringing larger screens, better cameras and cutting-edge technology like Face ID and AR to more consumers with its new smartphones.
Verizon's effort comes as mobile-enabled scavenger hunts have become a popular way to offer an entertaining experience while deepening connections with a brand. Hyundai and Marvel Studios, Oreo, Disney, Sony Pictures, Warner Bros., Tilly's, Unilever and Universal Pictures all have run similar treasure hunts to promote their products in the past few years. Verizon's scavenger hunt appears to be more advanced in its use of geotargeting technology to lead players around to capture AR objects, similar to gameplay popularized two years ago by Pokémon Go, which has had a recent 35% increase in active users due to new social features.