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Cartoon in a can boosts soft drink sales

German grocery chain Edeka Hessenring launches its own-brand cola in a novel six-pack carton, along with augmented reality that lets the ‘Sprudeltier’ out of the can.
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German grocery chain Edeka Hessenring, in cooperation with Ball Packaging Europe, has developed a promotion campaign with two unique features. The chain’s new Cool Cola-Orange flavor—part of the Edeka Perquell own-brand soft-drink range—has hit the shelves in 33-cL sleek cans from Ball sold in a triangular six-pack from Smurfit Kappa Baden Packaging and with the help of an animated 3D animal character accessed via augmented reality (AR) technology. Appealing mainly to the 12 to 18-year-old age group, the promotion invites youngsters to let out the “toon” in the can and pose with it in photos on a smartphone.

This is how it works: A sticker on the triangular multipack draws attention to the Sprudeltier (Fizzy Beast), a cartoon animal character inside. Inside the pack are instructions showing how to let out the 3D animated figure. All it takes is a smartphone with the Junaio AR app. Point the phone’s camera at the eye-catching design on the Cool Cola can—a zipper, the hallmark of the Edeka Perquell soft-drink range—and the cartoon figure poses in every photo taken with the camera. Friends can pose together with the apparently life-size figure. There is also an option to post the photos on Facebook.

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“The unusual multipack from Smurfit Kappa Baden Packaging and the beverage can are great for retail promotion campaigns. The toon promotion grabs the imagination and makes for a real sales boost with young consumers,” says Frank Sasse, European retail director at Ball Packaging Europe. “As a form of packaging, beverage cans offer a huge amount of scope for inventiveness in design, and that makes them an excellent medium for new communication techniques like augmented reality, which is the technology behind our 3D cartoon figure promotion. It is an ideal combination: The can is the packaging choice for young consumers—and now the can is being used with the new media favored by those same young consumers to promote a new product.” The Sprudeltier figure made its debut at an event staged for store owners by Edeka Hessenring on August 27 and 28 at its headquarters in Melsungen. The new six-pack and the figure were presented to some 500 retailers. The Cool Cola-Orange product is now on the shelves on a test basis in 60 stores. Beginning in September, the product also became available at many Edeka stores in individual cans (The cartoon figure can also be activated by pointing the smart phone on one single can.). Soon, the new design and the cartoon character will also be a feature with the flavors already in the range—apple spritzer, orangeade, and lemonade.

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