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THOUGHT LEADERSHIP

Augmented Reality Lets Shoppers Explore Saputo’s Treasure Cave Brand

25 Apr 2024

While the idea of a cave can bring dark and damp imagery to one’s mind, Saputo brand Treasure Cave® is inviting blue cheese enthusiasts to a funky, cozy retreat filled with in-store deals, historical nuggets, and other brand-building content.

When Kroger-owned supermarket chain Harris Teeter brought Saputo’s Treasure Cave® cheeses to its shelves, the retailer wanted a fun way to introduce the brand (and its longstanding history as America’s original cave-aged blue cheese) to shoppers. While the initial suggestion was to build an experiential cave at two or three locations, Saputo and Mars United Commerce devised an augmented reality that could bring the cave to all 259 Harris Teeter locations.

A first for Saputo, the AR experience was built as a Harris Teeter exclusive with the goal of driving awareness and trial for the new Treasure Cave® products available at the retailer.

The Mars United team quickly got to work with Blippar, an AR solutions provider, to create an AR experience that would be activated by QR codes placed on signage around the deli section of stores. The goal of the signage was to allow easy accessibility to the AR experience and garner more exposure while creating excitement for the brand at Harris Teeter.

This program comes on the heels of the Treasure Cave® brand redesign in the summer of 2023. The redesigned packaging includes the new logo, which features a cave with an entrance in the shape of Wisconsin (a nod to the brand’s roots), larger windows to make the product more visible, and details about the blue cheese’s flavor and age. The AR experience’s November launch was ideal for reinforcing awareness of the rebrand.

The focus of the AR experience is the cheese cave itself, which represents the method the brand originally used to age its product. Shoppers scanning the QR code on the signage would receive an instantly redeemable coupon for Treasure Cave® blue cheese to encourage immediate purchase.

Shoppers who did brave the cave in full could learn more about Treasure Cave® products and the history of the cheese cave, as well as find recipes utilizing the cheeses. By interacting with all the products showcased in the cave, shoppers would receive a key to the “Mystery Well,” which uncovered a video of the brand’s quirky TV spot.

The Treasure Cave® brand team was so pleased with the experience that they decided to open the program up to more retailers when Harris Teeter’s exclusive window ended in January 2024 — especially since the NFL’s Super Bowl was on the horizon.

Saputo placed an ad in Ahold Delhaize USA’s Savory magazine presenting recipes perfect for a Super Bowl party along with a QR code leading to the AR experience. Over the February 10-11 Super Bowl weekend, Treasure Cave® partnered with Kroger to host demos at the Murray’s Cheese counters in 1000+ stores where shoppers could sample chicken wings flavored with the brand’s blue cheese and Mike’s Hot Honey® chili sauce. Recipe cards with the QR code for the cave experience were handed out at the events.

“In addition to the engaging, immersive experience that it provides, another great benefit to augmented reality is the flexibility it offers,” noted Jen Senerius, Mars United’s VP of Client Leadership, when discussing the program. “The Treasure Cave® experience can be modified for the needs of any specific retailer, and the accompanying recipes can change depending on the season. That’s why Saputo plans to continue refreshing the cave with new content, new offers, and new adventures in the year ahead.”

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