Mexican restaurant chain Chiquito and cider brand Bulmers have become the latest brands to launch augmented reality (AR) marketing campaigns.

AR marketing is fast becoming a common marketing tool, and last month we highlighted seven clever uses of the technology, but Chiquito is one of the first examples we’ve seen of an AR game aimed at children.

Placemats at the restaurant chain contain a kids’ food menu and a video game that can be accessed using AR app Blippar.

In the game creatures emerge from the placemat and the player has one minute to hit as many as they can.

Blippar ran a similar campaign with Wagamama earlier this month, and the use of placemats is a clever tactic for increasing consumer awareness of AR.

Up until now most of the examples we have seen involved adding digital content into TV or print ads, but integrating the technology into placemats shows that AR has uses beyond simply making adverts more interactive.

On the downside, it might prove tricky for parents to get their kids to stop playing the games when their food arrives.

Bulmers’ use of AR is slightly more ‘traditional’, though it does also involve beer mats.

The Perfect Serve app, made by Space, brings to life digital content embedded in beer mats and posters.

Featuring an animated Bulmers glass that appears to rise from the point of sale, the app allows users to discover how to pour a perfect pint of Bulmers, and search for the nearest pub through the Pub Finder.

It also encourages users to explore the different variants of Bulmers available.

This is a more straightforward marketing strategy aimed at boosting engagement with the brand, while the Chiquito example is more about improving the customer experience within its restaurants.

Both campaigns show that marketers seem to be convinced that consumers are keen to engage with brands using AR. Now if only some of them would be more forthcoming with stats around user engagement…