Dan Ferguson

Using AR to Engage with An Audience: Case Study of General Mills On-Pack Interactive AR Campaign for Cheerios and Nature Valley

General Mills partnered with Groove Jones to create multiple AR experiences for two of their top selling brands — Cheerios and Nature Valley Granola Bars. The AR experiences launched the “Help Us Support the Bees and Trees” campaign for Earth Month. This program supports Cheerios and Nature Valley’s sustainability initiatives.

The campaign is running across the Cheerios brand, including Maple Cheerios, Honey Nut Cheerios Apple Cinnamon Cheerios as well as the Nature Valley brand. Below is a photo of the 7 different packages involved in the campaign.

Grow Your Own Virtual Forest or Wildflower Garden

As part of the campaign, Nature Valley is supporting The Nature Conservancy by helping plant 100,000 trees and Cheerios is partnering with the Xerces Society. Cheerios has helped plant 1.7 billion seeds of pollinator plants in 2018 and by 2021 Cheerios will have helped plant 3,300 acres of pollinator habitat.

Customers that scanned the Cheerios or Nature Valley packaging unlock a spectacular AR experience that allows them to grow their own virtual forest or wildflower garden. The experience is fully interactive and includes trivia with interesting facts.

  • Cheerios — Customers unlock a 3d world that breaks out of the packaging. After unlocking the grove, customers can tap to plant a variety of wildflowers that spring up from the ground. A bee then flies out and pollinates the flower, activating interesting facts and trivia about bees.
  • Nature Valley Granola Bars — Unlocks a 3d nature scene that customers can place anywhere they want to. Once the plot of land has been placed, they can start tapping to unlock a variety of trees along a flowing river. As the trees grow, they reveal tree trivia and facts.

Answers to the questions on the back of the boxes can be found in the AR experience. Kids can learn how planting saplings and protecting pollinator habitats have a positive effect on the environment.

Creating Educational and Entertaining AR

We worked with both the Cheerios and Nature Valley teams on how to take make an educational awareness message and to make it fun. Part of which was working with the teams on how AR works and how the customer can engage with their content in a fun way. The production began with designing storyboards that help explain how the experience works.

We then worked with the teams to identify look and feel of the experience. Since this is going to be using augmented reality as a media for telling the story, we needed to create 3d assets for everything that was going to appear in the world. Part of the look development process is sketching out characters, elements, props, and the world in which we want to take the user to interact with.

Engaging with the Consumer

We knew that it is often a big hurdle to have your audience download a new App. So we decided on the strategy of using social Apps to activate with the audience. Both Facebook and Snapchat have a huge install base, so we focused on these two social channels as our platform.

To make the experience as easy as possible, we used QR Codes on the back of the packaging to drive customers to a vanity landing page. This is where they can decide if they want to use Snapchat or Facebook. The links then sent the customer to the correct, corresponding filter on the social platform.

Each social platform has its own unique development platform. Facebook uses Spark AR and Snapchat uses Snap Lens Studio. Groove Jones has developed numerous campaigns on both of these platforms so we knew what to look out for.

The campaign is being promoted in the grocery store aisle, on-pack and through social channels.

See More AR Related Campaigns

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Co-Founder of Groove Jones | Vet | Shorty Award Winner | Clio, One Show, Cannes Lion Finalist | Named “Marketer of the Next Generation” by Brandweek Magazine