The best AR experiences of 2018

Blog Author

The best AR experiences of 2018

Blog Author
We reveal the best augmented reality experiences of 2018. This has been an incredible, transformative year for both the AR sector and Zappar as a business. As the medium evolves in terms of the scale and quality of experiences, so too has the creative community supporting it - coming up with endlessly interesting and immersive new ways to push the technology.

2018 has been an incredible, transformative year for both the AR sector and Zappar as a business. As the medium evolves in terms of the scale and quality of experiences, so too has the creative community supporting it - coming up with endlessly interesting and immersive new ways to push the technology. As a company, we’ve continued to work with major brands on exciting projects while supporting the talented members of our growing ZapWorks community. Our team has grown to accommodate this and we’ve been delighted to welcome so many new faces and fresh ideas to the Zappar family this year.

All of these factors have combined to inspire us and as the year draws to a close, we’ve been reflecting on the AR experiences we’ve loved creating during 2018.  Whether it’s been collaborations with iconic brands, Zappar-powered agencies or our in-house creatives, we’ve all been able to collaborate while sharing the common goal of creating incredible, rewarding interactive content for users. So, after looking forward to what 2019 has in store, enjoy our end of year wrap video and dive into our favourite AR experiences of 2018!



Walmart holidays campaign

When we were approached to craft some festive fun with some of the most iconic brand mascots in the business for Walmart, our creative team leapt at the chance. Who can say no to having a snowball fight with Tony the Tiger? Wintry shenanigans aside, this project was fantastic to work on in terms of showcasing the power of AR to transform the retail experience for users in a genuinely memorable way. Integrated into the Walmart app and scannable at 1000 stores across America, shoppers could get involved in compelling mini-games and take highly shareable selfies with their favourite characters, from posing with cheeky Chester Cheetah to seasonal face filter action with the Paw Patrol pups.



7-Eleven X Deadpool 2

We pioneered 7-Eleven’s first foray into augmented reality, utilising the tech as an engagement channel as well as a connection between their physical stores and digital devices. Embedded within the 7-Eleven app, this experience celebrated the release of the Deadpool 2 movie by creating a wide range of engaging mini-games and face filters, all tied together with Deadpool’s famously irreverent tone of voice. The experiences were scanned over 4.5m times and was so well loved that 7-Eleven even brought it to show off to hardcore Marvel fans at Comic-Con!



“As a creator, it was really exciting to work with such an iconic and recognisable brand and character”

- Lucas Perez, Creative Director


Lufthansa portal

We collaborated with major German airline Lufthansa to inspire people to explore the world, giving them that special holiday feeling with an innovative portal experience. Scanning the code via the Shazam app positioned users on the precipice of a new continent, using AR to transport them to iconic international landmarks via a panoramic photosphere with views that begged to be savoured. This was paired with a call to action for users to purchase tickets - wowing people with the possibilities of travel before encouraging them to instantly grasp the opportunity with a touch of their finger.



The Glenlivet connected packaging

The storied heritage of Glenlivet was showcased with this gamified AR experience, challenging customers with a series of mini-games that explore the mysterious origins of their whisky’s unique taste. Created in partnership with agency innovators OLIVER, this experience was accessed by scanning Glenlivet’s premium packaging with the Shazam app, bringing Master Distiller Alan Winchester to life. This was a fantastic experience that really showcased the power of connected packaging, demonstrating that product wrapping could be transformed to an always-on digital media channel that adds real value for customers post-purchase.



“This was a really nice example of interactive packaging, showing how time and attention to detail can elevate a simple brief.”

- Max Dawes, Managing Director


Mindshare - 'Layered' report

An innovative, fully connected piece of literature that not only highlighted the possibilities of invigorating print with AR interactivity, but showcased the fascinating science that shows just why such experiences are so effective for marketers. This fusion was crucial in creating a physical product that could ‘show not tell’ agency and marketing personnel about the power of AR as a platform for creating experiences that are genuinely memorable.


“AR drives higher levels of attention than pretty much any other medium we have studied”.

-Heather Andrew, CEO of Neuro-Insight


Fanta 'Takeover' campaign

Created in partnership with Anthem Worldwide, our work on the Fanta Takeover project was a really exciting opportunity for our in-house creative team. The chance to work with such a major brand with an appetite to genuinely innovate with AR was inspirational, particularly in terms of creating interactive experiences as part of the 'Teen Takeover' campaign, with a focus on influencer content and easy shareability. Scannable via the Shazam app, this experience brought twelve fruity face filters to delight users that could be shared both in the world around them and instantly on social media. The opportunity to unlock Fanta pincodes to enter a prize draw added another level of rewards for users, showcasing the power of AR to elevate the product as part of an omnichannel marketing campaign


“...this global partnership with Anthem, Shazam and Fanta saw its first orange-y fruits with a long-awaited launch in Switzerland and the Baltics. Helped immeasurably by the recent advancement of our Face Finder tech, the finished experience offers a bumper selection of fun 2D and 3D filters”.

-Samantha Roland-Jones, Ops Manager


FlyAR - Stora Enso connected packaging

Finnish creative agency FlyAR focus on creating incredible experiences for their clients by utilising the ZapWorks Studio AR toolkit and we were amazed (as usual!) by their work this year. Their collaboration with Stora Enso was a highlight, focusing on the importance of renewable materials. This experience instilled product packaging with its very own origin story by using beautiful 3D mini-worlds to connect recycled containers to their natural origins. We particularly loved this project because of how it showcases AR’s power to make complex processes easy to understand by engaging users with interactive, visual stimulation.



Yorkshire Tea - 'Yorkshire Tree' campaign

The power and versatility of AR was showcased in this wonderful collaboration with Yorkshire Tea. Appearing as full page ads in the British press, this experience took users deep into the brand heritage and values of the business, extolling the positives of community engagement and environmental sustainability. Using touch controls, people were able to engage interactively with Yorkshire Tea’s tree growing campaign, enabling people to shift the seasons, plant saplings and collect fresh vegetables in a series of light mini-games. Users could even make a tree sprout to life wherever they were and share the experience on social media!


“Despite being a Lancashire lad, I enjoyed this. Good to see a larger project making use of dynamic lighting, as well as some interesting target-space mechanics in the form of the planting of the trees”

- Chris Parker, Creative Content Developer


Alpen Salz connected packaging

Our collaboration with Alpen Salz was a wonderful example of the power of AR to transform static packaging into an interactive digital channel for brands to engage and reward their customers. A quick scan with the Shazam app had customers diving deep into Alpen Salz’s brand heritage, treating them to a whimsical trip to the alps, complete with idyllic wildlife, mountain streams and snowy peaks to interact with and share with friends. Associated advertising for this project was really strong - crucially providing a clear call to action for users and highlighting how AR experiences like this can fit seamlessly into everyday life in rewarding ways.



BRIT awards connected merchandise

Our AR experience created especially for the 2018 BRIT awards channelled the desire of everybody who excitedly packed into the O2 Arena that night...winning their very own award! Through scanning limited edition event merchandise, users were transported to the podium with their own interactive BRIT award, letting them pontificate and thank their fans til their heart’s content. This experience featured an easy social media share function, giving users the opportunity to frame a selfie of their award-winning moment with an exclusive #BRITs2018 social banner. 



Panini X Carrefour, Red Devils connected sticker book

Our collaboration with Panini and Carrefour to showcase the Belgian national soccer team sticker collection was an experience that brought together some of the most exciting possibilities of AR integration. On an experiential level, the addition of an endless runner video game and 3D model animations really added value to Panini’s sticker book, keeping users engaged long after purchase and adding a modern twist on a physical product rooted in collectability and long term engagement. Meanwhile, the scanning experience was completely tailored to the major brands involved, embedding within Carrefour’s app to maximise reach while featuring the Belgian national team's iconic players and ‘Red Devil’ logo to add real authenticity and relatability for soccer fans.



Kellogg’s Cheez-its, 'Feed Your Fandom' campaign

Touchdown Zappar! Our ‘Feed Your Fandom’ AR campaign, created for Kellogg’s Cheez-Its, was all about celebrating college football fans with an authentic, exciting experience that really rewarded the fanatical support of their team. Scanning via Shazam unleashed a college football AR extravaganza with customised packaging based on the users’ favourite team and a compelling virtual quarterback mini-game, transforming wherever you are into the green pastures of a football field. This was a fantastic digital channel for encouraging organically shareable content, challenging users to share their high scores on social media while representing their team’s logo and colours proudly.



Bresso connected packaging

This project with Bresso was an exciting opportunity for our London-based creative team to bring a welcomingly warm slice of Mediterranean sunshine to users with this innovative product packaging experience. Scanned via the Shazam app, Bresso created a really clear call to action to incentivise customers to engage with the AR content and they were richly rewarded with a fully animated bustling 3D marketplace. With light mini game mechanics, this experience explored Bresso’s heritage of fresh produce playfully, while enabling them to collect user data in a non-invasive way for an amazing prize draw.




SportBild have been the face of sports coverage in Germany for over 30 years, with hundreds of thousands of weekly readers. We built upon this incredible heritage and reach by transforming their pages into an interactive festival of sport by AR-enabling their articles. This meant soccer match reports could be seamlessly paired with high quality match highlights in a way that was genuinely rewarding for SportBild readers. This is one of our favourite examples of AR’s capability to transform printed material in genuinely valuable ways - complimenting and enhancing the power of print rather than attempting to surpass it.



Final Thoughts

Was there a particular experience that grabbed you this year? We'd love to hear about it! You can get involved in the discussion in the comments below, or share your thoughts with our community of AR enthusiasts over on our Forum. If our favourite experiences have inspired you to get creative yourself with AR, then our ZapWorks toolkit has all you need to push the boundaries of creativity, both with and without code (not to mention, our very fancy new website...). Want to create experiences like this for your brand or clients? Awesome, let's make AR together! Simply drop us a line and let's make it happen.