For supermarkets, Easter is traditionally a period of fierce competition in the promotional calendar. After all, supermarkets aren’t the only ones offering Easter goodies.
Easter campaigns, however, are one of the few in the New World promotional calendar where sales isn’t the objective- rather, it’s all about driving engagement and excitement to disrupt the usual price- driven promotional warfare.
So, while New World has held an in-store Easter egg hunt as far back as 2011, the challenge for 2017 was to stand out in the crowded space, and in the process make the hunt bigger, better and more engaging, than ever before.
Taking a cue from the global Pokémon Go craze of 2016, for 2017 New World decided to commit to an augmented reality mobile app and, partnering with a digital specialist with AR experience, set about creating the ‘Epic Easter Hunt’ mobile game.
To play, users simply downloaded the app and, scanning in-store egg ‘markers’, brought a virtual Easter Bunny to life, who promptly dropped digital eggs into the virtual world around them. Those eggs could then be collected to build a virtual collection.
Finally, customers showed their collection at the checkout and received a free, real-world chocolate egg. Egg markers were included online and in mailers too, so eggs could be hunted and customers engaged outside the store.
To promote the campaign, the group employed a multi-platform strategy. YouTube videos explained the concept and provided instructions, social spread the word and showed how easy the app was to use (including a series of ‘mummy blogs’ to motivate parents), and elements of the app – character, setting, typography and artwork – were used across the wider campaign activity. Everything was tightly integrated with every piece of the marketing mix working to encourage people to find out more about the app.
With promotions running and the app in place, the hunt was finally executed across the country. Store informers were created with detailed best-practice steps to set up markers in-store and customer support teams were recruited to handle device compatibility issues and troubleshooting.
The campaign was wildly successful, with 30,000 downloads of the game and 750,000 virtual eggs collected. The app topped the iTunes and Google Play charts, beating notable ‘real-world’ app games in the process and giving some indication of the impression that had been made. The promotion also provided powerful behavioural insights to inform future campaigns.
The group exceeded the digital measures they had set for themselves based on other industry successes and, as one of the largest scale AR projects in an in-store retail environment, attracted considerable industry interest.
Last but not least, New World ran out of chocolate eggs and, when it comes to gauging the public’s appetite, there is surely no more important metric.