Fast-food chain Jack in the Box has decided to put an augmented reality twist on the traditional sweepstakes promotion by employing the immersive powers of Snapchat.
Now through Aug. 18, the chain will run a Jack in the Box AR experience that gives customers a chance to win prizes. The experience is available in the Snapchat Lens carousel, and will only be surfaced for the brand's target audience, so, if you don't have a Jack in the Box nearby, don't hold your breath.
For the front-facing camera, users get the ability to pose with the brand's mascot riding a hot air balloon, except the hot air balloon is actually a BBW bacon double cheeseburger. And for the rear camera, the Lens presents the BurgAR game.
The object of BurgAR is for users to build a custom burger in their own physical space. Users can choose their own combination of bread/bun, sauce, and patty, and then up to five toppings from an array of ingredients. Add a dab of special sauce to a sourdough bun? Have it your way. Beef or chicken patty? It's up to you. Throw a freakin' taco and freshly cracked egg on it? Live your best life!
With their unholy sandwich prepared, users are then asked to save a picture, return to the Lens, and click "More" (thanks to Snap's Shoppable AR e-commerce platform) to navigate to the contest website. From there, users can then submit their concoction for a chance to not only win a $250 gift card, but also have their culinary creation featured on the chain's menu.
Once one of the best known fast-food chains in the US, at this point, Jack in the Box isn't still a household name like some other fast-food brands. Currently, the brand is number 23 in chain restaurant rankings compiled by food industry authority Restaurant Business.
Nevertheless, based on industry trends, Jack in the Box's Snapchat strategy is sound. Competing brands that are universally recognizable, like McDonald's, Dunkin Donuts, and KFC, are all on Snapchat, so it's clear that the app's ad platform is becoming a popular channel for reaching out to the broader youth market via AR.
"On the revenue side, we believe that augmented reality is the future of experiential, immersive advertising, and that the industry is just beginning to leverage our technology to connect with Snapchatters," said Jeremi Gorman, chief business officer of Snap, Inc., in prepared remarks for Snap's recent financial results release.
"Our users opt in to over 10 seconds of play time on average with our Sponsored Lenses. Our self-serve AR buying tool has been scaling quickly since its launch in Q2 2018, and we anticipate advertisers will grow their investment in our ad platform as we continue driving new AR ad products, market education, and robust measurement."
Snapchat has rebounded nicely from a rough 2018. In recent months, the app has reversed a downward trend and is now back on the path to growth, closing the second quarter with more than 200 million daily active users. And while a rebuilt Android app probably has something to do with bringing users back to the platform, so does the company's new augmented reality tools, which are credited with at least seven million of the 13 million daily active users gained in the second quarter.
"Now that we have built a strong underlying foundation for our service, we are well-positioned to continue investing in key areas like our content platform, our augmented reality platform, and our gaming platform," said Evan Spiegel, CEO and co-founder of Snap, in the company's recent earnings statement. "These efforts support our mission of empowering people to express themselves, live in the moment, learn about the world, and have fun together, which in turn will help drive the long-term growth of our business."
So, for now, it seems that good news for Snap is also good news for the whole augmented reality industry. The more Snapchat demonstrates that innovation in augmented reality can attract users and benefit brands, the more growth the industry stands to experience from further adoption of the technology.