- Recess, a brand of seltzer infused with cannabidiol (CBD), is working with retro-inspired online radio station Poolside.FM on a digital campaign. The "Press Play to Pause Your Thoughts" pop-up experience features an online game accompanied by a playlist of "upbeat ambient tunes," according to an announcement emailed to Mobile Marketer.
- Mobile users can scan QR codes on specially marked cans of Recess to activate the game, which challenges players to pop animated clouds with a screen tap. The browser-based game was inspired by meditation apps and is accessible on mobile and desktop devices. In addition to QR codes, the game will be promoted via Recess' newsletters, website and social channels.
- After tapping the "end" button to stop playing the game, people can enter their email address for a 10% discount on new co-branded merchandise including a bucket hat, T-shirt and tote bag.
Recess' mellow digital experience centers around taking a meditation break and aligns with the laid-back vibe of Poolside.FM. The streaming music site, which has gained a modest following for its nostalgic video clips and playlist from Soundcloud, last year was redesigned to look like a Macintosh desktop from the 1990s, The Verge reported.
The centerpiece of Recess's immersive digital experience is its hypercasual video game that emulates similar activities on some meditation apps. The "Press Play to Pause Your Thoughts" is easy to master and fits with the overall theme of reducing stress. The campaign comes amid a deluge of advertising that promises stress relief during the coronavirus pandemic and weak economy. Those campaigns include efforts by Coors Light, Firstleaf wine club, Moon Pals plush toys and Procter & Gamble's StressBalls gumdrops, The New York Times reported.
Recess' campaign combines QR codes and gamification, two methods of engaging mobile consumers that have become more popular in the past few years. Brands such as Burger King, PepsiCo's Mtn Dew, Jersey Mike's and Camden Town Brewery have included QR codes in recent campaigns to drive a direct response from smartphone users. Some also have included gamified content to extend the time consumers spend in a branded experience, or to connect with the growing audience of gamers, which is estimated to consist of 214.4 million people in the U.S., the Entertainment Software Association estimates. Recognizing that potential, Chipotle Mexican Grill, Chobani and Jack in the Box have recently run campaigns that feature gamified content.
The CBD seltzer brand's latest effort is consistent with its offbeat creative strategy. Last year, Recess offered to pay cash to Venmo users who mentioned the brand on Instagram from Black Friday to Cyber Monday. For each repost, direct message or Instagram Story that showed a Recess tag and sale information, the brand paid $3 to a user's Venmo account for helping to acquire new customers during the key holiday season. The company developed the campaign to avoid Instagram's ban on selling hemp-related products, though the market for products containing CBD is set to grow from $9.3 billion this year to $23.6 billion by 2025, Grandview Research forecasts.