Defy kicks off augmented reality campaign to support sponsorship of FC Barcelona

“When Defy approached us to conceptualise a stand-out campaign to highlight their new product offerings and their global sponsorship of FC Barcelona, we used exponential technology to take viewers to new worlds, and to excite and ignite their imaginations,” says Mic Mann, co-founder of Mann Made. “Defy wanted to do things differently than they had in the past. They wanted something innovative and fresh. Mann Made is deeply involved in the realm of augmented reality, how we can use it for marketing objectives, as well as to create positive change in South Africa. They wanted to disrupt their campaign and take it to the next level. And we believed that we could do it better for our client.”

We designed an immersive, three-part campaign that utilises augmented reality to transport viewers to FC Barcelona’s home stadium of Camp Nou. The first phase of the AR campaign was the Believe in Better Facebook selfie that exemplifies the Defy tagline to Believe in Better. These specially-created camera filters – similar to those found on SnapChat and Instagram – were created by our animation team to take selfies with filters of FC Barcelona face paint, glasses, and hat – for the true FC Barcelona fan! It’s call to action is to go to retail stores to buy a Defy product for the chance to win a visit to Camp Nou.

The second phase of the AR campaign, the table-top stadium, rolled out across South Africa in May 2018. Hundreds of thousands were inserted into Makro catalogues nationwide to inform customers of the campaign. They were designed by our interactive design team to include a Defy augmented reality trigger that can be activated with any smartphone via an internet browser. It allows the customers to experience the excitement of visiting the stadium in 3D table-top format, with fireworks and fans going wild in the background.

For the final phase of the AR Campaign, we partnered with Craft, a Barcelona-based production company, to shoot the 360-degree video footage, alongside still photography of the stadium, which in the post-production process were built into a customised app that uses Apple’s ARKit. The portal takes customers into another world using augmented reality. It works with live in-store portal displays, whereby customers can literally walk through the portal holding an iPad and wearing Defy-branded earphones out into the stadium into a 360-degree looped video. “AR is an on-demand type of technology that suits people’s lifestyles. People want to engage with a campaign when it suits them, not when they drive past a billboard or while the TV ad is playing. This is something that let’s us connect much more personally with our audience,” says Tyrone Janse van Vuuren, the creative director on the project.

We had a stadium with close to 100 000 empty seats that needed to be filled. It was easy enough with a cast of 65 that dressed in FC Barcelona paraphernalia and soccer gear. We filmed each of them, one by one, in our green-screen studio as though they were experiencing a live soccer game. Then our animation team got to work to composite them into a crowd of tens of thousands of Barcelona-mad supports.

“Marketing within the South African retail landscape is forever challenging and uber competitive. In order to create a memorable impact and achieve success, we lean on special partners such as Mann Made, who carry the creative ability to see order through all the chaos,” says Deon Stow, National Trade Marketing Manager of Defy Appliances. “I am very proud to thank the Defy Trade Marketing team, our valued suppliers and agencies for making a dream become reality. No other appliance brand has used augmented reality to excite shoppers instore. We believe this is the start to pushing the boundaries of activations instore. We live by the morals of imperfection is beauty, madness is genius and it’s better to be absolutely ridiculous than absolutely boring.” After the first week of the campaign going live, Defy recorded a 18.49% growth in rand value across 21 stores and sold an average of 1 829 more appliances than they sell each month.

“There is a lot of noise in marketing so anything that will help a client’s brand stand out is always valuable, especially if it is something new and immersive or can create an immersive experience,” says Tyrone. “Rather than a campaign being something that you just look at, it’s something that you can experience and stand inside and look around. We tried to replicate that experience whether it’s inside your home with a flyer and your phone or whether it’s in store where you can walk into an installation.”

About Mann Made

Mann Made is a level 2 BBBEE company of mavericks, who are driven by disruption. We believe in an abundant future for South Africa and the continent, which is why you’ll find robots, 3D printers and VR consoles at our Johannesburg offices. We’re proud hosts of the Singularity University South Africa Summit, which aims to future-proof Africa by embracing exponential technologies that will help to create economic, political and environmental sustainability in the future. Our mission echoes that of Singularity University co-founder Peter Diamandis that we can use exponential technologies to positively impact the lives of a billion people.

But that’s not all we do at Mann Made. We’re a forward-thinking, experiential brand agency that narrates our clients’ brand stories through a variety of media – whether it’s through animation, virtual and augmented reality environments or straight-down-the-line video production, which is how we started in 2000. We also do web and app development, run social media campaigns and host nationwide events, activations and conferences. Read more about Mann Made or call us on (+27)11-259-7120.