Apparently, AR pizza is really good. Pizza Hut has partnered up with the National Football League as the competition’s official food service. Besides some delicious pizza, the Hut has prepared the AR pizza game to go along with it. The game app goes by the name of Beanbag Blitz. Resembling the classic tailgate game of cornhole, the new Pizza Hut augmented reality marketing ploy looks tasty on screen.
Marketing has found a rather cooperative and useful friend in Augmented Reality. Big companies are inventing new ways to reach consumers, often playing on the entertainment factor. Like L’Oreal or Hello Kitty, many more companies are cueing in on the technology. Pizza Hut is just the latest of these. Having replaced Papa John’s as the official NFL pizza provider, the Pizza giant is going AR for what is the probably the best pizza AR game around. If not the only one.
‘We tapped into technology to deliver a truly immersive gameplay experience to fans’, Zipporah Allen is recorded saying. The Chief marketing Officer at Pizza Hut, US, he explains having the Augmented Reality component as a way ‘broadening our digital portfolio and engaging fans in a completely new way’. And engage they did. Users can try out the Beanbag Blitz app on their iOS devices, while Android support is expected to arrive very soon.
The AR pizza game itself looks intuitive enough. Scanning the Pizza Hut special boxes using the app the game opens up and you are ready to go. It is essentially a turn-based, cornhole-type of a competitive game where the bean bag tossed closest to the target wins out the round. Rather than going for multiplayer, the pizza game can only be played on one screen. For those currently on Android or iOS older than 11.3 version, the game can be played in a more traditional manner. The NFL pizza boxes are of a limited edition and sport all 32 team logos on their backs. The NFL special boxes will be spread across Pizza Hut restaurants nationwide and be available throughout the regular season. Goodness knows what, if anything, they prepared come playoff time.
Coming after an eight-year reign of Papa John’s as the official NFL sponsor, this is a huge opportunity for Pizza Hut. Millions of people tune in during the season to watch games. The traditional marketing moves like TV ads notwithstanding, Pizza Hut realized they had to get a little creative here too. The fancentric AR pizza game, and the new Game Plan platform as well, fit the creativity bill just perfectly. In words of Zipporah Allen: ‘We combined what they’re (the fans) most passionate about: their team, the spirit of competition, and of course, pizza’.
Similar to AR pizza game, Augmented Reality is becoming a go-to platform for different industries and their respective purposes. Covering both ends of complexity spectrum, even the intricacies of STEM education seem well within what AR and VR can do. But enjoying the technology is a prerequisite to using it. And that’s where Pizza Hut AR jumps right in.