NEWS10 February 2017

Unilever Ventures invests in AR game

Financials Innovations Mobile News Technology UK

UK – The investment arm of Unilever, Unilever Ventures, has backed a new augmented reality gaming app, Snatch, which allows brands to engage differently with consumers.

Snatch icon_crop

Snatch is a virtual treasure hunt that uses a player’s smartphone location paired with augmented reality, to help players seek out and ‘snatch’ or steal virtual parcels that contain prizes. One of the top prizes is a year’s university fees.

Brands already on the app include Unilever’s Marmite, TopShop, TopMan, All Bar One, Mitchells & Butler, Just Eat, Pizza Hut Delivery, Rock Pamper Scissors and Now TV.

Following a period of BETA testing, 50,000 parcels have been snatched in the first two months.

Snatch also has the backing of Velocity Capital Advisors, a consumer technology fund which were original co-investors.

Jan Harley, director, Unilever Ventures, said: “Snatch has the potential to transform the way brands are engaging with consumers. Immersing people in an interactive environment where they’re actively seeking out products and feeling the elation of winning something tangible, is a really exciting addition to the marketing toolkit. It’s an exciting period for the industry and something we’re keen to be part of.”

Phil Lloyd, chief marketing officer at Snatch added: “Snatch is about our brands engaging with consumers in a place they’re accepted and welcomed, not interrupting them with advertising in places they’d rather they weren’t. Combining brand rewards, real-world gaming and AR is fairly virgin territory, so we’re delighted that an investor like Unilever Ventures is on board at an early stage.”

In the game, players can explore the area around them, hunting for virtual parcels. Once they have held on to the parcel for six hours and kept them from being snatched by others, the parcel can be opened – and the real prize revealed.