A confronting 'plastic reality' stands out among AR customer engagement

AR experiences enable customers to engage with brands and shop from their comfort zones

Augmented reality is increasingly being used by brands wanting to engage customers at home or in other spaces to which they can easily relate. June saw brands such as Big W, KFC and Corona launch AR experiences to help customers interact with products in the comfort of home, compete for prizes in a game or even be confronted with their unpleasant, augmented ‘plastic reality’. 

Corona, which has been making a good citizen of itself with an ongoing environmental sustainability program, launched an eye-opening augmented reality (AR) experience to coincide with World Oceans Week.  Deciding that you can’t solve a problem you can’t see, the beer brand is showing customers a year of their lives in ‘plastic reality’. Corona, which also claims be the first global beverage brand to recover more plastic from the world than it releases into it, also believes its AR tool is the first of its kind to show people their 'personal plastic footprint' and, importantly, to suggest ways to reduce it. 

After answering a few questions about their consumption habits, users of Plastic Reality are given an estimate of their annual plastic footprint – which is then visualised as colourful AR pieces of plastic splashing across the user's physical world as if being washed up by the tide. The tool then opens a virtual portal to a polluted paradise where the effects of pollution on nature are highlighted while users are prompted to act to reduce their own plastic footprint.  

The AR tool neatly fits Corona’s image as an environmentally friendly leader in the packaged goods sector. Its operations have been audited by South Pole’s 3RI Corporate Plastic Stewardship Guidelines, and meet the Verra Plastic Waste Reduction Standard. 

Yet saving the world from being overwhelmed by plastics is a mission Corona can't achieve alone. 

“That's why Corona created an AR experience that allows people to see their annual plastic footprint in their own home,” said Felipe Ambra, Corona’s global VP marketing.   

"Seeing your full years' worth of plastic in your living room is truly eye opening, and hopefully will inspire people to reduce their personal plastic use and their impact on the environment." 

Also live in June was Big W's campaign to give families a more relatable way of shopping its toy sale from the comfort of home.  

Big W campaignCredit: Big W
Big W campaign


“We’re constantly looking for ways to make it easier for families to shop with us,” said Doug Sexton, campaigns marketing manager at Big W.  "Äs we kick off our Toy Mania sale, we’re excited to leverage the power of AR so that families can see items virtually in their own space. This will allow our customers to shop the range with even more confidence.” 

Big W shoppers can scan a WebARcode to virtually ‘place’ select outdoor toys in their own space to view objects at scale in real-time as well interact with them through 360°. The e-commerce function is only a click away.  This collaboration with Verizon Media on its Immersive Platform follows a number of augmented reality campaigns from Verizon's RYOT Studio which present new ways for customers to shop remotely. Big W's campaign is promoted across Verizon Media’s suite of Yahoo editorial brands in display and native ads, plus custom editorial articles, as well as on Big W's own channels.  

Meanwhile KFC has dropped 'The Great Bucket Hunt', a mobile-based, AR adventure that's played via the KFC app across the Australian countryside. It's designed to be explored by KFC fans keen to win sports and food experiences including NRL and AFL Grand Final tickets, Ashes Tickets or cash prizes of up to $50,000. Players need to be quick and competitive because other bucket-hunters can virtually grab buckets from under each other's noses and the countdown timer is ticking.

KFC's virtual bucket challengeCredit: KFC
KFC's virtual bucket challenge


Players need to redeem food within 72 hours by ordering via the KFC App on the game which runs from mid-June until Monday 12 July across Australia.  The carrot is, as KFC promises, that no-one walks away empty-handed. 

“We know our fans go crazy for our food, and so our prizes are made up of delicious Kentucky Fried Chicken, KFC bucket list experiences, as well as a number of cash prizes, with everyone walking away a winner,” said Kristi Woolrych, CMO at KFC Australia.

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