Perrier Enters Local Nightlife Scene With Blippar’s Augmented Reality

“District Perrier” is an interactive fantasy space that is being brought to life in-store by Blippar.

Sparkling water brand Perrier intends to both compete with and complement spirits marketers for the attention of evening clubgoers and barhoppers in a campaign that brings together elements of mobile, social media, loyalty programs, digital video, and augmented reality.

The campaign, which began running in February and continues through May, revolves around the concept of “District Perrier.” The district represents the fashionable parts of major metro areas and is designed to imbue Perrier’s bubbly mineral water with the aura of a “sexy mixer” for cocktails.

To drive Perrier’s appeal to spirits retailers, the brand has tapped mobile loyalty/rewards provider Ibotta to power in-store displays. The campaign is being spread across social media via a branded Tumblr page and a hashtag (#DistrictPerrier).

While all of those connections take place on the online-to-offline marketing landscape, Perrier is also counting on communicating its nightlife image via augmented reality with Blippar, whose image recognition technology blurs the lines between the digital and the physical, and opens a world of interactive branded mobile experiences for the consumer.

Blippar's Lisa Hu
Blippar’s Lisa Hu

Lisa Hu, VP of Business Development at Blippar, explains that the UK-based company created an “immersive world” for District Perrier that can only be accessed through the tech company’s augmented reality platform.

Perrier’s Marketing ‘Blipp’

“We are allowing users to unlock drink recipes through an interactive mobile drink shaker feature. Additional engagements include virtual photo shares, a ‘Mix up the Beat’ game and exclusive District Perrier content,” Hu says, adding that there are now exclusive bottleneck hangers on Perrier products with Blippar’s call to action in store, along with exclusive bar coasters that are distributed in nightlife venues throughout the U.S.

A spokesperson for Perrier says that participating national retailers include Fairway, Safeway, and Acme, among others.

Though Hu says this is Blippar’s “very first Perrier Blipp,” the platform has worked with Perrier’s parent company, Nestlé, on a number of campaigns across various product categories on a global scale. Hu notes that this latest partnership with Perrier serves as an opportunity for Blippar to “extend its strategic partnership with the Nestlé family of brands and their innovative consumer base.”

The Leader Of The Pack 

Blippar, which raised a $45 million funding this month in advance of launching new visual search tools at SxSW, has quite the consumer base with which to work. The company, which launched in 2011 and in 2014 acquired augmented reality software provider Layar, has exploded in growth. Blippar presently has a base of over 50 million users interacting with over 1.5 billion blippable products, Hu says, adding that the company is headquartered both in London and New York. It now has offices in multiple cities including San Francisco, Chicago, Los Angeles, Istanbul, Delhi, and Amsterdam.

What’s more, Blippar is dominating the image recognition and augmented reality marketplace by a landslide. As mentioned above, the company has more than 50 million users, and according to Hu, the user base worldwide for the technology weights in at roughly 60 million. By that estimate, only 17 percent of those using this type of mobile technology are not using Blippar.

Big brands are paying attention, and lining up to collaborate with Blippar on mobile marketing campaigns. In addition to Nestlé, Hu says that Blippar has partnered with Condé Nast, Time Inc., Unilever, Kraft, Heinz, Coca-Cola, Anheuser Busch, and Jaguar.

Location Takes On A Whole New Level

Part of why Blippar appears so popular with both brands and consumers is because of how effectively it plays out in the location-based retail space. Enabling consumers to run their smartphone over a product and access digital experiences turns the mundane shopping aisle into a private, exclusive journey, one that can give consumers tips and ideas for how to use a product that they may not have otherwise known about.

“Brands seeking in-store activations can overlay their products and packaging with digital content,” Hu says. “We’ve built engaging and branded interactions ranging from cookbook recipes, photo shares, exclusive video content and more. Whether directly, by employing a blipp-to-buy feature, or indirectly by augmenting consumer engagement, this in-store activity bolsters sales by offering the user an interactive and valuable experience.”

Image recognition is an entirely pull-based behavior, Hu points out, meaning consumers “actively choose to interact and engage with products that can be recognized via a mobile device. Visual discovery campaigns based on image recognition technology have the advantage of greater user engagement when compared to traditional push-based advertising formats. Brands are using blippable campaigns to bring their products to life — packaging that is in-store and on shelves offers brands an opportunity to continue consumer engagement beyond point of sale.”

Pulling Power of Blipps

Blippar’s data shows that on average, consumers are spending 75 seconds pulling content from brand packaging through Blippar activations with conversion rates between 1-to 15 percent, Hu notes, adding that in many cases, “partners are seeing more traffic off of product packaging than brand websites through this new medium.”

Blippar also helps brands up the cool factor for their products. A bottle of Perrier in a supermarket aisle isn’t the most exciting thing on earth, but incorporate an app-accessible-only digital dimension to it and you’ve got something special. For Perrier, this technology fits in perfectly with its overall goal to spice up the humdrum image of its sparkling beverages.

Asserting that image recognition and augmented reality in mobile marketing have created “a new consumer behavior,” Hu anticipates that the space will “only continue to gain popularity and capability.”