Now that the NCAA Basketball Tournament is in progress, 7-Eleven has decided to start an enhanced reality experience to remind basketball fans where they can quench their thirst during the March gala.
Available until April 10 in the 7-Eleven iOS and Android app, the pair of enhanced reality trends helps promote BodyArmor, the official sports drink of the NCAA Championship.
The first AR experience uses the front camera. First, the effect places a virtual bottle of BodyArmor in the camera view and when users open their cheerful, the bottle turns upwards to deliver some imaginary refreshment.
Then, the users turn into basketball players, inserting real-time camera feeds into a basketball court scene, complete with a virtual basketball player's body. Users can also customize the skin tone and sex of the virtual suit before recording the scene to share with others.
] The second experience takes over the rear camera and anchors a miniature campaign in the user's environment. After the known three-point shooter competition format, players can compete with an AI opponent to see who can reach 10 hoops made first, with three rounds of escalating difficulties available per game.
A VR version of the game is available for devices that do not support Android devices (since the 7-Eleven app's AR camera does not yet support ARCore) and iOS devices that are not compatible with ARKit.
Users can also earn points for the 7-Eleven customer loyalty program by sharing the selfie experience on social media or playing a round of mini-games. In addition, customers can earn double points when buying a 28 oz. bottle of BodyArmor in 7-Eleven stores.
BodyArmor's position as sponsor for a major sports tournament is an important battlefield for the purpose of topping the market leader Gatorade. The fact that the company includes enhanced reality marketing in this highly visible campaign talks about volumes about AR's position in the current advertising landscape.
(Ironically, the basketball legend Kobe Bryant, who skipped college and went directly to the NBA from high school, was an early big investor and brand marketer from BodyArmor.)
The retail store chain is still engaged in enhanced reality experiences, built with Zappar's Zapworks Studio. platform, as a means of attracting customers.
Previously, 7-Eleven published a soccer-centric AR experience in the early 2018 football season. To say, 7-Eleven does a great job of feeding appetites for techcentric sports fans.
For its role, Zappar has carved a growing niche of AR experience for sports marketing, ranging from mini-games for snack brands to fan-making sports teams.
And as the sports entertainment world continues to increase the reality of the marketing game, we can expect to see a more even range of such market initiatives over the next few months.