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Nestle logoAugmented reality (AR) advocates say that it's time for companies to start adding the unique blend of physical and virtual interaction into marketing plans now. While some brands still appear mystified (and scared, perhaps?) of the technology, others are proving that AR can serve as a highly effective, interactive marketing tool. CPG giant Nestle is the latest brand to experiment with AR, using it to turn an ordinary advergame into a memorable experience.

With Nesquik Factory, Nestle pulls players into, well ... a Nesquik Factory. The game uses a player's webcam to put them into the role of a factory worker. Fill the bottles with the right flavor of Nesquik and you make it to the next level. Mundane? Perhaps, but the experience of seeing oneself in a game, and using real-world movements to interact with virtual objects is novel, at the very least. 

Nestle employed AR development firm Zugara to create the game. Together, both companies followed overall social media marketing best practices, while managing to incorporate AR in a way that wasn't "scary" or cumbersome. The game also employed three specific tactics for creating a successful branded game, with or without AR:

1.    Make it easy for the game to spread:

In the image below, you’ll note that the “Forward to a Friend” and “Play with Facebook Connect” options are highlighted with red circles.

Nesquik Factory screengrab 2

The first option is email – simple enough. The Facebook option lets players sign in, and then share a “snapshot” of themselves playing the game on Facebook.

2.    Gather player contact info for lead generation 

The “Forward to Friend” option also includes a simple opt-in for players who want to receive information about other Nestle products, games, and promotions. Again, very simple, but potentially very effective. If the player forwards the game after they’ve had fun playing, they’re likely more inclined to opt-in and be notified of other “fun” experiences sponsored by Nestle. 

3.    Maintain prominent branding without being obnoxious

A branded game serves to get a company’s messaging across – but it must do so in a way that’s not heavy-handed. Nestle achieves this by setting the game in a Nesquik factory, but also by requiring players to bring the Nesquik brand into the game themselves.

Nesquik Factory screengrab

To play, users need to have their image motion-captured by a webcam, but Nestle also requires that players motion-capture a Nesquik bottle as well. If they don't have one on hand, they can download and print a picture of one from the game site.

The experience will reinforce positive branding with Nesquik fans, and increase awareness for people that stumble on the game via a friend's suggestion or Facebook update.

With the game, Nestle joins the ranks of other big brands like IKEA, Adidas and Toyota that have also incorporated AR elements into their marketing campaigns.

Tameka Kee

Published 4 November, 2010 by Tameka Kee

Tameka Kee has been covering digital media with a focus on online advertising, social media and gaming since 2007. Find her at tamekakee.com or follow her on Twitter

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F0ul

And what happens when they use a different brand or even a different product altogether? Couldn't a game like this be used to forward a political or an anti message? e.g. Nesquik is full of brake fluid - look It was me wot did it? - and that message is the one that gets shared? What if the game becomes to come up with the most disgusting ingredients for a Nesquik bottle? It will be interesting to see what happens!

over 5 years ago

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Alastair Duncan

Interesting stuff. Nice to see them still using the Nesquik design developed by Zentropy back in 2001..

over 5 years ago

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Mike McGrail

Great idea. But it won't work for me!

over 5 years ago

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Aaron von Hungen

Hi, I'm with Zugara - the company that worked with Nestle to develop the concept and then create the game. Thanks for the nice writeup Tameka! Mike, sorry it's not working for you - if you tell me what's up I'll be happy to try and help you out :) feel free to email me at "aaron *AT* zugara.com"

over 5 years ago

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Gabriele Maidecchi

I too believe AR and advergames in general are a strong part of the future of advertising. I see it in my own business experience, with a steady increase of requests from brands for the creation of advergames (Facebook and iOS apps in primis) clear sign of where the end users are most active in.

over 5 years ago

Ed Longley

Ed Longley, Head of Direct Online at Hiscox

An interesting concept, and it will be interesting to see how it plays out.

I wonder though whether the requirements - webcam, product (or printed copy of), Flash and the participation required will prove a barrier to entry for some. Espeically those in the workplace.

Le Stella Bar Finder/ Guide is simpler in this respect, however is limited to the iPhone.

It's nearly time for "Elf Yourself" again - an early AR?!

over 5 years ago

Niranjan Sridharan

Niranjan Sridharan, Digital Auditor at ABC

I think it is a novel idea. Good work Aaron

over 5 years ago

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vicky

An interesting concept, and it will be interesting to see how it plays out.

over 5 years ago

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