Bud Light being the official beer sponsor of the NFL just makes sense for American football. But what about the NHL, with hockey being the official winter sport of Canada by decree?
Enter Labatt Blue, which might as well be the national beer of Canada and includes a hockey page on the top navigation bar of its website.
To further demonstrate its love for the game, the beer maker is running a marketing campaign with the NHL to embed a Snapchat AR experience on 12-packs of Labatt Blue.
"Labatt and hockey go hand-in-hand and we know our fans right now are celebrating the return of hockey," said Jaime Polisoto, Labatt brand manager, in a statement. "We are thrilled to partner with Snapchat and four professional teams on this brand-new AR experience, connecting Labatt fans to their favorite beer and their favorite game in an entirely new way."
Scanning the Snapcode on specially-marked packages of the beverage with the Snapchat app for iOS or Android unlocks the Lens. Using Snapchat's marker tracking technology, the Lens opens a virtual door on the beer packaging, revealing a digital replica of the home ice for that market.
"This truly is a best-in-class example of how forward-thinking brands have adapted to safely and creatively bring memorable experiences to consumers using AR on Snapchat," said Matthew Shore, creative strategy lead for Snap Inc. "What better way to ring in the new hockey season than with a never-before-seen transformation from a Labatt Blue pack to a hockey arena from the comfort of your living room?"
Unfortunately, the experience is limited to Snapchat users 21 and up in four markets: Pittsburgh, Philadelphia, Detroit, and Buffalo. According to Snapchat, tens of thousands of packages will be distributed in those markets, so, if you live there or happen to be visiting, there's a good chance you'll be able to try it for yourself.
However, by freezing the video provided to Next Reality on the Snapcode, we were able to unlock the Lens and emulate the experience on a photo of a package of Labatt Blue Light. Further investigation revealed that all is needed is the Labatt Blue logo, such as the one featured prominently on its website, as the marker to launch the AR experience. So, try it out for yourself!
In addition, Labatt Blue is publishing Selfie and Gamified World Lenses in those same markets, with jerseys from their respective teams — Pittsburgh Penguins, Philadelphia Flyers, Buffalo Sabres, and Detroit Red Wings — featured in the experience.
In a recent blog post, Snapchat revealed that 70% of its users interacted with the app while watching sports. The sports leagues and their brand partners have certainly noticed, as we've seen Lenses from the NFL, NBA, and MLB. And, with that kind of embedded audience, we can expect to see more.