In the Tom Holland era, it appears to be impossible to promote a new Spider-Man movie without an augmented reality experience, a trend that continues with Spider-Man: Far From Home.
Starting on Thursday, Papa John's customers who order a Superhero XL two-topping pizza can scan a Snapcode with the Snapchat app for iOS or Android and then scan the specially-labeled Spider-Man: Far From Home pizza box to unlock a pair of AR experiences.
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On the rear camera, Snapchat's Marker Tracking technology builds 3D models of the Palace of Westminster, the Tower Bridge in London, and the Rialto Bridge in Venice (which serve as the backdrop for major scenes in the film according to the trailers) in the environment surrounding the box.
The fun continues on the front-facing camera, where Snapchat's face and hand-tracking technology act as the controls for a mini-game, where customers are challenged to catch falling pizza slices with Spidey webbing.
"This augmented reality encounter will allow Papa John's to elevate the pizza eating moment by giving consumers a fun, interactive and contextual experience," said Karlin Linhardt, chief marketing officer for Papa John's, in a statement. "We are excited to be the first pizza company to offer augmented reality through Snapcode on our boxes, giving users the experience of seeing iconic architecture like Big Ben, the Venice canals and Tower Bridge while they enjoy our pizza wherever they choose."
That may sound like a bold claim as a first, but he's not exactly wrong. Pizza Hut ran a similar promotion as part of its sponsorship of the NFL last year, but the chain used its own mobile app rather than Snapchat and its scannable Snapcodes.
Between a humorous scene in Spider-Man 2 and some side missions in the recent PlayStation 4 game, there's now a fairly strong association between Spider-Man and pizza, so the promotional tie-in with Papa John's is pretty perfect.
Starting with Spider-Man: Homecoming, AR has been a mainstay of Sony Pictures' movie marketing for the franchise. Sony engaged 8th Wall's web-based platform to deliver augmented reality experiences for the theatrical and home video releases of Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse. And Spider-Man imagery also found its way into AR promotions for Avengers: Infinity War. (While Spider-Man did not make an appearance in AR promotions for Avengers: Endgame, there were certain spoilery reasons for that.)
Assuming Sony and Marvel continue to weave stories involving the friendly neighborhood superhero, we can look forward to more web slinging experiences in AR in the future.