Snack maker Wise Foods is hoping to drum up some viral excitement for its Cheez Doodles brand among teens and young adults with a campaign and contest that uses a technology known as augmented reality to get a trio of animated cheese puffs to rock out.
An interactive game called ‘Rock the Cheez” at http://www.cheezdoodles.com/rock-the-cheez.htm lets users download, cut out and place markers coded in front of their computer Web cam. The markers are then read by a computer Web cam and translated into Flash animation of the “Cheez Dudes,” three rockstar snacks playing lead guitar, bass and drums. Users can sync the group up to 30 seconds of recorded music provided by Wise, record a video of the performance and upload that to the Web site.
Those performance videos then get to attract votes in the form of “tickets purchased’ by visitors to the “Rock the Cheez” gallery on the Web site. The clip that has attracted the most ticket sales by Dec. 31, 2009, will win the equipment needed to go out and start his or her own real-life band, including Fender Stratocaster guitar and Precision bass and a complete tama drum kit.
Visitors who enroll in the Cheez Dudes’ fan club will also be entered into a sweepstakes drawing for a $1,000 grand prize.
The Cheez Doodle brand is considered a heritage brand within its East Coast market and is looking to redefine itself outside of its traditional demographic of kids 8 to 12 and the moms who buy for them, according to Wise Foods brand manager Kevin Foltz. “We wanted to expand our demographic and create a new brand identity for Cheez Doodles.”
The new Cheez Dudes brand mascots began appearing on Cheez Doodle packaging back in August with a call to action to visit the Cheezdoodles.com web site. A bit later, Wise and interactive agency Zemoga mounted an online customization feature to the site and then followed that up with the “Rock the Cheez” game launched Monday.
“We were looking for something that really would engage kids with the site, and this deployment of augmented reality is a very interactive process,’ says Sven Larsen, chief marketing officer for Zemoga. “While many previous uses of the augmented reality technology have resulted in fairly passive experiences, we wanted something that was more interactive than simply a supplement to traditional push-based advertising.”
For that reason, entrants are not only able to print out and position the markers to see the animated Cheez Dude figures but are encouraged to build an actual stage backdrop for their concerts or to use them in other innovative ways.
“With the Cheez Dudes, Wise is hoping to focus on the creative side of kids, their artistic development and music orientation,” Larsen says. “The campaign lets them take that further, share an animated production in social media, and possibly win the equipment that will let them start a band of their own.”
The “Rock the Cheez” contest is being promoted on 2 million in-store packages distributed to supermarkets on the East coast, as well as with store displays, shelf danglers, and an e-mail notice to 70,000 recipients registered to get Wise Snacks online coupons.