There might not be a better brand partnership for the speedy Sonic the Hedgehog character than a fast-food restaurant. For that matter, augmented reality is also the ideal technology for promoting a movie that features an animated talking rodent living life in the real world.
Combine these dynamics and you get a marketing partnership that leverages Snapchat's AR capabilities to promote the new Sonic the Hedgehog movie, which arrives in theaters on Feb. 14 from Paramount Pictures, along with Jack in the Box's new Tiny Tacos and the Uber Eats delivery service.
The first AR experience, available to Snapchat users in the US on Feb. 14, pays homage to Sonic the Hedgehog's gaming roots. Using the front-facing camera on their smartphone, players can control Sonic by tilting their head in a recreation of the portal ring levels from the classic video game series. However, instead of rings, Sonic is after Tiny Tacos.
In addition, Snapchat's Shoppable AR will enable players to visit an UberEats landing page to place an order for real Tiny Tacos from Jack in the Box.
Players who score 50 in the mini-game can also win free delivery from UberEats (if there is a Jack in the Box within your delivery area, that is).
The campaign also employs Snapchat's marker-based AR technology, with life-sized gold rings installed in select malls in San Diego, Santa Monica, and San Francisco. After scanning the Snapcode embedded in the advertisement and lining up their cameras with the ad, users will see Sonic burst through the ring portal in his unending pursuit of Tiny Tacos. And, again using the Shoppable AR platform, consumers have a chance to win a free order of Tiny Tacos delivered via UberEats.
If you don't live in sunny California, you can still see this AR experience for yourself by scanning the QR code in the photo embedded below.
The promotion is a bit of a repeat performance for Jack in the Box. The regional chain tapped Snapchat for a solo outing with its BurgAR campaign last year.
Co-branded marketing experiences between film studios and food brands have existed for as long as I can remember, but the rise in popularity of augmented reality advertising has made the pairing commonplace on Snapchat as well. Last year, Papa John's joined forces with Sony Pictures to promote Spider-Man: Far From Home. Two years back, Pepsi teamed up with Lionsgate to assist in pushing the NBA-centric Uncle Drew.
Snapchat continues to draw a stream of immersive branded experiences to its AR platform, meaning that we can expect even more dynamic duos in the future.