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    Posted by Liisa Mathlin on 30.5.2024
    Liisa Mathlin
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    When KPO, a regional cooperative operating in Western Finland and part of the S Group, and its partner agency, Daddy Finland, searched for new ways to enhance the in-store experience of customer-owners, they came up with a concept that does much more.

    An AR-enhanced game aimed at children and their families greatly succeeded in 2021. In the summer of 2024, the campaign sees a new dawn in KPO's hotels.


    Video by Daddy Finland and KPO



    Client KPO
    Agency Daddy Finland
    AR Production Arilyn


    Initially developed in 2021, the game was created as part of KPO's 115th anniversary celebration campaign.

    "The original campaign was created to improve our stores' brand image among families with children. The secondary objective was to attract children and their families to our stores — Prismas, S Markets, and Sales. But more important were our branding goals," KPO's Director, Communications and Customer Relationships, Mikko Keskinen briefs the campaign.

    The AR game was part of a broader strategy to maintain a positive brand image and enable enjoyable customer experiences, particularly for families with children. Augmented reality provides a modern, engaging way to differentiate from competitors and add value to customers.

    "One of our initial ideas was an in-store gaming activity called Hauska Hahmojahti (Fun Character Hunt). The quirky animated characters we produced delighted everyone during testing, so the game concept was quickly finalised," Daddy Finland's Partner and Entrepreneur Marco Pajari says.

    Integrated branding and marketing - enhanced with immersive technology.

    It is challenging to stand out and entertain in an in-store environment with a dense communication landscape. A store's daily operations limit the activities the space can accommodate or how stores can be decorated.

    "When a customer's local store is transformed into a virtual game space, familiarity and the element of surprise together enable creating a more memorable emotional connection, and more time is spent with the brand," Pajari explains.


    The game's initiative is to collect five AR characters, which would come to life and dance when scanned with a mobile phone's camera from stickers around the stores. Children who completed the game won a free chocolate bar.

    The campaign was a resounding success, resonating with KPO's audience and leading to thousands of game completions.

    "It was essential for us that the game launch as easily as possible — without a separate app. We chose to use augmented reality because it allowed us to create an interactive and engaging experience for our customers without additional technology," Keskinen describes.


    "At Daddy, we had previous experience working with Arilyn, making the choice of a reliable AR technology partner easy," Pajari adds.


    The concept was reintroduced in KPO's Sokos hotels during the summer of 2024. The implementation was simple and effective, making it easy for families to participate and enhancing their overall hotel experience. The AR game's characters also span to the real world, for example, as colouring images in the hotels.

    The hotel environment was a natural extension of the concept, as guests have even more time and desire to engage in activities in an experience-focused environment.

    Building a brand through fun and exciting experiences.

    Staying still and being content with the status quo will slowly diminish a brand's credibility. Brands must constantly strive to be and do better.

    "An AR-enhanced game is an excellent way we can differentiate in a modern way - it's something that isn't purely commercial but has a business objective," Keskinen states.


    Immersive and gamified content's flexibility is a huge advantage — the AR character hunt was easy to make alive again three years later. It also works as part of other marketing and branding efforts and enhances the analogical world. The memory mark is more substantial when repeating the message through different channels.

    With its reasonable price tag and strong differentiation value, the AR character hunt was seen as a strategic initiative that resonates with KPO's target group. It was part of a set of goals supporting KPO's image, both in the short and long term. This campaign was not just a one-off marketing effort but a strategic investment in the brand and the relationship with KPO's customers.

    "A larger XR revolution is now gradually happening. Richer content is optimally accessed first through headsets and later through glasses instead of smartphones. This enables marketing campaigns that are more entertaining, immersive and personalised than before," Pajari wonders about XR's future use cases.


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    Topics: Case study

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