Cracker Jack: Marketing With Augmented Reality

Have you notice that more and more brands prefer to adopt the strategies such as content marketing or the advertisements through websites and social media platforms today?  These marketing tools become increasingly normal in our daily life, and even more poplar than traditional tools like newspaper and television with the support of fast developing technology.

Now, thanks to augmented reality, aka AR, we’re entering an new era where marketing can hybridize physical and virtual experience.

Augmented reality is the integration of digital information with the user’s environment in real time. Unlike virtual reality, which creates a totally artificial environment, augmented reality uses the existing environment and overlays new information on top of it.



Cracker Jack, an American brand of snack consisting of molasses-flavored, caramel-coated popcorn and peanuts, become one of the pioneers in the snack industry to adopt augmented reality in marketing. It preferred to leave behind the vintage memories, no long putting those famous tiny plastic toys into their packages of popcorn and peanuts. Instead, Cracker Jack tried to move into tech by slipping in augmented reality stickers that can used with an app, Blippar.

In each Cracker Jack’s bag, there is one sticker that, once scanned through Blippar, will randomly unlock four different baseball themed augmented contents -Dot Dash, Dance Cam, Get Carded, and Baseball Star. Dot Dash is a racing game around the field, while Dance Cam is like getting yourself on a small “Jumbotron”. Get Carded is a camera feature that puts your picture in a baseball card, and Baseball Star offers autographed photos that can be traded and shared with your family and friends.

Replacing the plastic toys by the interactive games through augmented reality technology provided by Blippar is a bold try for Cracker Jack. It doesn’t seem necessary for the brand to abandon the successful marketing model, since the cost of tiny plastic knickknacks Cracker Jack is becoming cheaper if using 3D printers. Additionally, even though collaborating with Blippar is a easier and cheaper way for Cracker Jack to use augmented reality technology in its marketing campaign, the necessity of downloading Blippar app in the consumers’ mobile phone might still discount this campaign’s performance.

However, we cannot deny that the augmented reality marketing form is coming with the “wow” factor. Without any precedents, Cracker Jack is ahead of the curve. It embraces the preferences of the young generation, trying to keep the treasured feeling of childhood wistfulness with a modernized, young-at-heart attitude. The baseball content also conforms to the main markets of Cracker Jack, the baseball games. The adopting of augmented reality, I think, may be not major content of this campaign, but is a big plus to attract people’s interests.

Anyway, as a whole, Cracker Jack’s innovative marketing try with augmented reality technology is laudable. It boldly gave up the successful but a little outdated plastic toys marketing plan, and look for a high tech way of marketing in the snack industry, where most brands prefer to market through developed platforms, like social media. I don’t know whether or not the marketing of snack brands are suitable for augmented reality technology, but this trying spirit deserves some attentions.


Augmented reality has already been a hot topic in the past two years or so. Although lots of brands show a interest in this technology, few of them are willing to be the pioneers to “test the water”, since the system of augmented reality marketing is still not mature. However, I believe augmented reality should be the future of the marketing. Convenient, fast, and technologically impressive, virtual experiences can easily awake customers’ curiosity, and physical experiences, on the other hand, are immersive, gratifying, and memorable. Capitalizing on all these qualities on both sides will greatly help the brands to achieve success when they decide to market with AR technology.

Ok, than you for your time and stay happy!👻