Five fantastic ‘phygital’ campaigns from this spring

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We’re always talking about the growing convergence of the physical and digital worlds. Here are five brands with great phygital campaigns all over the world.

Amazon has become synonymous with the term ecommerce over the years, so the possibility of the retailer branching into the physical world has long been intriguing to people.

Shortly before the 2014 holiday season, Amazon leased some space in Midtown Manhattan and the rumor mill immediately started churning out (uh… guilty) speculation about, what does this mean? That turned out to be corporate office space, although Amazon actually did transition into the physical world about a year later.

Once again, we were all, “But what does this mean?” Of course, it means that the world is moving into more of a “phygital” direction. We were already moving in that direction – apps like Uber and Shazam were popular long before Amazon opened a bookstore – but it seems like brands all over the world have really been embracing it lately.

Here are five of them who from all over the world who had particularly cool phygital campaigns this spring.

1. Kit Kat (Australia)

In Australia, Kit Kat recently became the latest brand to get into politics with its Breakers Party, which is all about taking a break. The Nestlé-owned candy is encouraging new members to join with the promise of prizes and titles, such as Minister of Shopping or Minister of Music.

Primarily known as the app you use when you know you know that song but can’t place it, Shazam also works visually. To win, consumers have to buy a Kit Kat and Shazam its wrapper, which brings them to the Breakers Party website, which was executed by J. Walter Thompson Sydney and gives more information about the various Minister positions. The Minister of Travel, for example, will be awarded round-trip airfare and accommodations in either Orlando, Florida, or the Maldives, depending on the winner’s family size.

“The partnership shows how we can bring innovative and easy-to-use technology to consumers to enhance their break and delight them in new ways,” says Chris O’Donnell, head of marketing at Nestlé, who adds that there will be 4.7 million Shazam-enabled Kit Kat bars in Australia.

2. Under Armour (U.S.)

Golden State Warrior Stephen Curry led the NBA in three-pointers and last month, he even became the first player to everscore 400 of them in a season. Capitalizing on that buzz, Under Armour teamed up with the NBA 2K16 video game in a Droga5 campaign that launched this week.

Because Curry is so good at sinking threes that he’s even outperformed the video game version of himself, that’s the focus of the social campaign, #BreaktheGame. During the NBA finals, every time Curry scores a three-pointer, a three-second video will be released. In each one, he’ll do a trick that his digital alter ego wasn’t programmed to perform.

The videos, two of which were released during the first few minutes of the first game, can be found on Under Armour Basketball’s Twitter.

3. Club Atlético Tigre (Argentina)

Keeping up with the sports theme, McCann Buenos Aires launched a campaign for an Argentine soccer club that’s nothing if not unique. Fans of Club Atlético Tigre may be admitted to games based on their excitement, which is measured by a biohacking technology.

For the “Passion Ticket” to work, fans have to implement an RFID microchip into their bodies and position themselves near one of the special scanners stationed by different entrances at the stadium. If their energy level is high enough, they’ll be granted entry; the chip contains the same information as a regular ticket. Within 48 hours of the campaign launch, more than 1,000 Tigre fans have been implanted.

“This new ticket option will allow us to build a better experience for our most passionate fans, as they’ll experience shorter screening delays gaining access to the stadium and exclusive benefits that will only be offered to Passion Ticket holders,” says Rodrigo Molinos, president of Club Atlético Tigre.

4. Doritos (U.S.)

Doritos may have left its Crash the Super Bowl contest behind, but the chip brand isn’t finished with user-generated content (UGC). Following its Super Bowl stunt – remember when those people ate dinner at a table suspended 14 stories above the ground? – Doritos launched Bold50 in March.

Phygital campaigns don’t have to be as elaborate as implanting a chip under someone’s skin; they can be as simple as encouraging your customers do put their offline activity online. All year, Doritos invites people to set or break any of 50 branded world records, such as building the tallest house of cards with Doritos and throwing a chip the longest distance into somebody’s mouth.

By filming the videos and sharing them on social, the would-be record-breakers are making the campaign phygital for Dorito’s. In turn, that UGC, which consumers tend to trust more than branded messages, gives the brand free social buzz and marketing it can use in the future.

5. Vodafone (Romania)

There’s an old Eastern European tradition called Transhumance, in which shepherds spend a month walking through the mountains as they transfer their livestock to the highlands for the summer. It doesn’t happen as much these days, but Ghiță is one Romanian shepherd who continues to make the journey.

Vodafone Romania teamed up with him to promote its mobile network, which scored the highest in Europe last year, as being strong even in the middle of nowhere. With McCann Bucharest, Vodafone launched an app, Transhumapp, in which users race Ghiță and his sheep.

The app, which taps into the human love of competition, works like any fitness tracker. Users’ steps are counted and compared to those of Ghiță, who will increase engagement by sending personalized encouraging videos. The country’s largest gym has also joined in, and has created a fitness class based on Transhumance.

 

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