Well, gather round intrepid ZapWorks creators - we are finally here. Our biggest ever community competition. £10,000 on the line. Dozens of frankly mind-blowing concepts, experiences and other varieties of AR wizardry for our panel to peruse in meticulous detail.
In case you missed it, I’m talking about the wonder that is the ZapWorks X Sipsmith competition. With the Sipsmith distillery but a short walk from Zappar HQ in leafy Chiswick, we found a perfect competition partner. Hand-crafters of iconic gin, we operate in different worlds but share the same passion for craftsmanship. That’s why we joined together to invite the AR creative community to show us their best ideas for an experience to celebrate Sipsmith’s flagship London Dry Gin.
The winning entry would not only take home a home a cool £10,000 but would become part of a nationwide AR campaign at the heart of Sipsmith’s digital strategy - being attached to the neck tag of bottles in supermarkets right across the UK.
With a detailed brief, an inspiration experience and all sorts of lovely branded assets to play with, we put the call out and waited for an answer. And my word, what a cacophony of answers it was! But only one entry can be crowned the winner.
So that leaves us with just one thing to announce…
And the winner is
...Someone who suitably impressed our discerning expert panel, of course. Now now, don’t be impatient - let’s first look at the people who were tasked with the very difficult job of picking our winner:
- 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 audiences through immersive experiences, as well as finding new and innovative ways to engage, support and inform their thousands of employees.
- 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 is an absolute must.
- 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 the world's biggest brands and businesses with their audiences in truly exciting and valuable ways.
All of the experiences were judged in the fine surroundings of the Sipsmith Distillery, with much debate, frank exchanges of views and a few G&Ts consumed (naturally).
Of course, this competition wasn’t simply about the best ‘looking’ experience - like a well-constructed gin, it goes deeper than that. Our winning entry had to show that they had truly encapsulated the spirit of the Sipsmith brand - offering a concept that was not only visually impressive and immersive in nature but truly considerate of what would engage Sipsmith’s loyal audience of discerning gin drinkers.
And the winner is (seriously this time, promise)...
First place: Marco Paternostro, Viewtoo
Prize: £10,000 + his experience on Sipsmith bottles in stores across the UK
Here’s why Rich picked Marco as the winner:
“Marco’s entry did an excellent job illustrating the rich history and story behind the Sipsmith brand. It was quite immersing to be launched into ‘The World of Sipsmith’ - introducing the product range and serving suggestions also meant the experience was not only great storytelling but also an opportunity to increase sales, by directly linking through to Sipsmith’s online store.”
Sipsmith’s Digital Marketing Manager, Olivia Styles on Marco’s entry:
“I loved Marco’s entry, the simplicity and way in which he approached the Sipsmith brand in an AR context was really thought through - it very much felt like a ‘World of Sipsmith’. Similarly, the look and feel of Marco’s entry and how he incorporated our London gin map was really powerful - it was so important for us to pick an entrant who clearly researched and understood the Sipsmith brand, from our founding story, to the part we had to play in the ‘Ginaissance’. Likewise, his entry could also be used with little space if the end-user was browsing say in an off-trade aisle, his attention to detail was great to see and definitely adds value to the brand and encourages the end-user to learn more about Sipsmith and explore the product range. In short, we could easily see how we could add to the concept and turn it into a commercially viable experience.”
And last but not least, here's what Zappar CEO, Caspar Thykier had to say on Marco's entry:
"Marco’s entry was a beautifully illustrated ‘360 hub’ of content in which you could explore the history and provenance of the Sipsmith brand. For me, it expertly blended aesthetic and a multitude of functionalities and features of ZapWorks Studio to bring the Sipsmith brand to life. Marco clearly considered the context in which the experience would be scanned (supermarkets and homes), paying careful attention to the (sometimes) limited space in which to explore a world tracked and 360 gyro AR experience. What clinched it for me was the innovative way Marco brought the Sipsmith brand to life, incorporating the stylized version of the Sipsmith bar, underpinned by an illustrated map of London and effortless way to explore the product range and immerse yourself in the brand story. Simply put, Marco’s entry was the most complete concept that hit the brief as a whole.”
If you’d like to check out Marco’s experience for yourself, we’ve left the Zapcode for you to scan below. Enjoy!
Let's not forget about our intrepid finalists...
Hold your horses. What about the finalists you say? Because we knew the quality of entries would be so high we also wanted to recognize (and more importantly reward) the five finalists that wowed our judges and came very close to winning the big prize.
In alphabetical order, here are the five entrants who our judges took a shining to and won a ZapBox kit, a half-day expert workshop with Zappar Executive Creative Director, Andre Assalino and some delicious Sipsmith goodies!
Without further ado, our five finalists are...
Forum handle: @higor
Forum handle: @seyed.kamali
Country: United States
Forum handle: @stevesanerd
Country: United Kingdom
Forum handle: @PLuke
Len Van Der Westhuizen
Country: South Africa
Forum handle: @westcreations
So a massive congratulations to Marco and to absolutely everybody who entered. I, the judges and the rest of the team have been genuinely blown away by the sheer quality and quantity of the competition entries. It was an exceptionally hard decision, which only speaks to the breadth of talent in the ZapWorks community - so we cannot thank you enough for all your time and effort.
If you entered and haven't made the final this time around, don’t be disheartened! I hope this has proved inspirational for ideas in the future and showcased the creative and commercial power of ZapWorks for your future AR projects. Don’t forget, many of our entrants shared their projects and work in progress builds over on our community Forum - so get involved!
If you're one of our lucky finalists we’ll be in touch privately to arrange your prizes.
Phew. If Marco’s masterstroke has inspired you to get creating with AR for the first time, then there’s never been a better time to get going with ZapWorks. Whether it’s our browser-based, drag ‘n’ drop Designer solution, or our fully-fledged and most powerful Studio toolkit, you’re welcome to experience both for 30 days, completely free and with no obligation. To see what else our talented community have been up to, or for a bit of support, encouragement or feedback, look no further than the ZapWorks community Forum.
There’s also a huge amount of in-depth tutorials, walkthroughs and video guides in our comprehensive documentation (including our new Getting Started Guide for Studio) - all specifically designed to get you making the most out of AR. And if you’ve got an idea for how your brand or business could leverage AR but need a helping hand with executing it at scale, our expert HQ team has over eight years of experience of creating experiences for some of the world’s biggest brands - so reach out and let’s talk about it.