Pick n Pay’s latest set of collectable Super cards focuses on the Proteas men’s and women’s cricket squad and the ICC 2019 Cricket World Cup. It uses technology in the form of a free interactive app to add value to the promotion. Because most consumers now own a smartphone, a free app is a cost-effective way to create a brand experience that will keep people entertained for hours beyond the few seconds offered by a television commercial.

Pick n Pay worked with local game development company Sea Monster. The key to creating a successful campaign of this nature is to create something that consumers actually want to download, says Jade Duckitt, creative director at Sea Monster. “We’ve gathered analytics on the number of downloads and hours of engagement, and these reflect that Pick n Pay’s customers really appreciate the additional aspect of the app,” she adds.

Jade Duckitt, creative director at Sea Monster. Picture: SUPPLIED
Jade Duckitt, creative director at Sea Monster. Picture: SUPPLIED

Technologies such as augmented reality (AR), virtual reality, animation and gaming can bring concepts, ideas and even sports teams to life in the consumer’s hands, creating an immersive experience that’s hard to beat, says Duckitt.  “This gives brands an advantage in winning customer hearts and minds, and allows brands to use pertinent real-world events – like sports – to drive home their brand values, ethos and messages in a way that is seamless to consumers.”

In a climate where budgets are lean, technology offers a cost-effective solution. “For the production and placement cost of one 30-second ad, we have literally delivered hours of engaging, educational content that really drives brand value.  Parents are struggling for good-quality digital experiences, and brands are increasingly realising how these can be used to drive their business goals, while at the same time delivering value to society. Banks, for example, could use games to drive financial education, empowering customers to make better decisions while at the same time growing their market,” she says.

The big take-out

Technologies such as augmented reality, virtual reality, animation and gaming can provide immersive experiences, giving brands an advantage in winning consumers’ hearts and minds.

Too often clients and their agencies don’t think beyond the traditional. Technology has the advantage of lower distribution costs (data costs aside) as well as having a lower carbon footprint. For companies looking to scale distribution and reach audiences outside of main urban centres, a digital environment offers many advantages.

“Games are, by their nature, a medium where the design emerges as you go, so it’s critical to follow a strongly agile process to make sure projects are delivered on time and budget and to expectations. As more companies realise the power of animation, games and AR to drive business outcomes, they will need to realise that quality takes time, and costs money, but can deliver extraordinary value at scale,” Duckitt says.