- Michael David Winery introduced an interactive face filter app called Freakshow Maskerade that lets mobile users transform their selfies into characters from its Freakshow wine brand, the company announced. The app has six characters, but fans of the label can unlock three more augmented reality (AR) face filters by scanning Freakshow wine bottles with the app.
- To boost adoption, the winery is giving smartphone users who share their "freak'n faces" on Instagram and Facebook with the hashtag #freakshowwine a chance to win a "Freak-of-the-Week" swag pack. Michael David Winery also will pick a winner whose real face will appear on the label of its cabernet sauvignon.
- Freakshow Maskerade is available for free download from Apple's App Store and Google Play.
Michael David Winery joins the wine, spirits and beer brands that are adopting AR technology to provide customers with an engaging and immersive experience through their smartphones. The idea is to cut through the advertising clutter and appeal to ad-fatigued millennials who aren't impressed with fancy packaging or traditional marketing messages. Instead, the age group tends to seek entertaining experiences they can share with friends, family and followers on social media. Such sharing underpins viral campaigns, giving brands like Freakshow greater promotional power and extending the reach of their marketing efforts.
By offering exclusive AR content that can only be activated by scanning a wine label, Michael David Winery seeks to drive sales and foot traffic to stores that carry its selection. Such "brick-and-mobile" marketing strategies have become more prominent as brands and retailers aim to bridge the online and offline worlds for on-the-go consumers. The percentage of shoppers who use mobile devices while browsing stores grew to 71% in 2018 from 62% a year earlier, according to a Salesforce survey, suggesting that shoppers may be open to experimenting with mobile AR tech while in store aisles.
About two-thirds (63%) of internet users have tried an AR experience created by a brand, per a survey of U.S. consumers by web-based AR ad provider Vertebrae. In the past year, spirits brands including Shackleton Whisky, Jägermeister, Patrón and Diageo's Bulleit Bourbon have developed interactive smartphone campaigns aimed at prolonging brand exposure. Most recently, Angry Orchard hard cider and craft brewery Devils Backbone brought their respective packaging to life with QR codes that activated an immersive experience when scanned with a smartphone.
Such experiences are predicted to drive growth of AR shopping to 100 million consumers by next year as the rollout of high-speed 5G mobile service expands, Gartner estimates.