Wow, what a rollercoaster the last few weeks have been! Back when we first announced our ZapWorks X Sipsmith AR Creators Competition, we knew that the ZapWorks creative community were going to be going all out to impress us with their immersive experience ingenuity. But I think I speak for everyone involved here at both Zappar and Sipsmith when I say that we've been stunned yet again by the sheer effort, quality and dedication that has been poured (no pun intended...) into every entry we received. So first and foremost, if you contributed to the competition, a massive thank you and congratulations.
The original ZapWorks X Sipsmith call-out saw Zappar CEO & Co-Founder, Caspar Thykier join Sipsmith Co-Founder, Sam Galsworthy, at the Sipsmith Distillery to issue an exciting challenge to the AR creative community
An incredible AR opportunity
If you've missed out on our updates, this is certainly our biggest competition to date. We teamed up with our Chiswick neighours and iconic gin crafters Sipsmith, who were looking to better engage a millenial audience with a connected packaging experience that truly encapsulates their heritage, values and dedication to high-quality craftsmanship.
Zappar are huge believers in the power and potential of connected packaging. It's a sustainable way for brands to turn their passive packaging assets into a portal, empowering their audience to access digital content through a channel they solely own. The possibilities for this are vast and indeed brands and businesses alike are championing the medium to drive sales, encourage branded app downloads, start valuable conversations with their community and tell their brand stories through everything from compelling mini-games to portal experiences that virtually teleport users through the production process.
For our ZapWorks X Sipsmith competition, we reached out to the AR creative community with a challenge - show us your best concept for how you would tell the Sipsmith story through the power of AR in the most engaging, innovative way possible. The experience to be created in our complete AR toolkit, ZapWorks, would be attached to a neck tag on Sipsmith's flagship London Dry Gin, purchasable and scannable across the UK. Such a wide-reaching brief deserved an incredible reward. That's why we put together a £10,000 grand prize for the winning entry, plus the opportunity for five finalists to nab their very own ZapBox plus a half-day bespoke workshop with our expert team here at Zappar HQ.
Judging is thirsty work! Caspar, Richard and Olivia (L to R) discuss the strengths of each of the competition entries with plenty of healthy debate going on
A journey to the home of gin-ovation!
So of course, a competition of this magnitude needs an expert judging panel to assess the array of innovative entries from the community. We did our best to assemble a real dream team for this one, who knew exactly what to look for when it comes to a nationwide connected packaging campaign...
- Caspar Thykier, Zappar CEO and Co-Founder - The creator of our beloved 'Three C's', with a track record of demonstrating the power of AR to connect some of world's biggest brands and businesses with their audiences in truly exciting and valuable ways.
- Olivia Styles, Sipsmith Digital Marketing Manager - You'll be hard pressed to find anyone more knowledgeable about Sipsmith's mission, heritage and the values of their vast audience of discerning gin sippers. She knows exactly what makes the Sipsmith community tick, so entries impressing her are an absolute must.
- Richard Hess, Nestlé Immersive Experience Lead - Joining us all the way from Barcelona, Richard is a driving force behind how Nestlé's huge array of household name brands connect with their audience through immersive experiences, as well as finding new and innovative ways to engage, support and inform their thousands of employees.
I joined all three at the Sipsmith Distillery in Chiswick as they put the entries through their paces - literally where the gin magic happens (I assure you, hosting the competition judging in such close proximity to hundreds of litres of delicious gin was purely coincidental...). As you can probably tell from the pictures, trying to get all three in the same shot was easier said than done, thanks to the amount of entries that had leveraged world tracking and AR portals!
Each entry was road-tested in front of the famous Sipsmith gin stills before the judges retired to the bar for plenty of heated discussions, debates, note-taking and the occassional G&T. Well, it's very hot and thirsty work, after all.
Hi Jared! Our ZapWorks X Sipsmith inspiration project provided our community with the assets and expertise to create their own world tracking AR portal experience, complete with a welcome from Sipsmith Master Distiller, Jared Brown
So, what happens now?
The experiences have been scanned, the judging panel have had their initial deliberations - and now it's decision time. We are expecting to announce the winner and finalists in early August. Asides from being contacted directly, all finalists and the overall winner will be announced right here on the blog and across our social media channels. You'll also find some sneak peeks along the way too, so I suggest you follow our Instagram, Twitter and LinkedIn for all the latest.
As always, the ZapWorks Forum has been the place to be for tracking community progress on this competition - with many entrants posting some really in-depth work-in-progress guides to their experiences. It's a fantastic opportunity to see what's possible with ZapWorks Studio, particularly in-terms of the creative possibilities of world tracking, WebAR and face tracking. Some have even posted their Zapcodes, so you can experience their creativity for yourself - I strongly recommend it, some of the face filters truly have to be seen to be believed..!
You can also find the incredible Sipsmith inspiration piece put together by our uber-talented Support Team to get your creative juices flowing. There's an asset pack and in-depth guide to get you started - it's a really great chance to see how you can bring portal-style experiences to your future AR project work. Their brand new AR Photo Booth tutorial and project pack is also live too, so you can learn how to excite your users with an intuitive, customizable and highly shareable face filter experience. It's loads of fun and easy to create. Plus, you get to see our very own George dressed up as a pirate, so surely that's incentive enough to get involved?
Our Support Team maestros, Seb and George, guide you through how to make your very own AR Photo Booth with ZapWorks
If the ZapWorks X Sipsmith AR Creators Competition has inspired you to get creating immersive experiences, then our ZapWorks toolkit is their for you to make it happen. From our easy-to-use, drag 'n' drop Designer tool, to our fully-featured, powerful and versatile Studio tool which empowers you to leverage world tracking, face tracking, Sketchfab integration and WebAR, we've got everything you need to take your creativity to a new dimension. Plus, our huge collection of documentation is on-hand to guide you, with video walkthroughs, tutorials and step-by-step guides to ensure you're maximizing your creative potential. Our talented and supportive ZapWorks community of users means you're never alone if you need support, feedback or just a bit of encouragement - you can find them on our Forum, so come say hello and be inspired!