COCA-COLA BRINGS ITS POLAR BEARS TO LIFE FOR THE HOLIDAYS
Coca-Cola is launching “its first large-scale augmented reality (AR)” effort in the U.S. this holiday season. To access content, users will need to download and use the brand’s app, which will unlock a variety of immersive experiences with Coca-Cola’s iconic polar bears. These experiences will include a highly detailed look at where the bears live as well as the bears sledding, having snowball fights and enjoying holiday lights. If users scan two Coke cans at the same time, they can see the bears “tapping out ‘Jingle Bells’ on glass soda bottles.” While the AR content is more fun than beneficial, the brand will gain access to a substantial number of new app users who can receive additional content throughout the year.
FIVE BELOW GETS INTO GAMING WITH NEW FACILITIES
With 750 retail locations, Five Below targets teens and tweens with items that usually cost $5 or less; Nerd Street Gamers develops “training and competition facilities for esports.” The two recently announced a partnership that will see Nerd Street Gamers open several 3,000-square-foot esports facilities connected to Five Below stores in 2020, eventually expanding to 70+ Five Below locations if the pilot goes well. Each location will have 30–50 pro-level gaming computers and will charge $1.50–$5.00 per hour for play. As traditional retailers struggle with relevancy, the esports universe is rapidly expanding. This partnership gives Five Below the opportunity to create a community at its locations and gives Nerd Street Gamers an easy avenue to reach a large volume of their core teen/tween audience where they already shop.
REI WANTS YOU TO GET OUTSIDE MORE WITH NEW STORES
Retailer REI’s first location in New Hampshire is quite a bit different from its traditional store—it has been built to encourage shoppers to “get outside and play.” The first key difference is its placement away from the usual busy urban and suburban areas; instead it’s located near a resort that serves as a gateway to the White Mountains. Second, the store has a huge focus on experiences versus shopping. The location has a vast product demo fleet and extensive in-store rental program. The store also puts a strong emphasis on trips and clinics, and most of its classes/workshops are free. It will be interesting to see if this type of experience concept eventually drives more omnichannel traffic and purchase.