Manhattan Sweets has entered the digital space with an augmented reality application, designed and implemented by Digital Solutions Group (DSG). The application allows users to enter a digital candy world – an extension of the confectionary company – in a fun and engaging manner.

Says Yaron Assabi, CEO of DSG: “Augmented reality (AR) has taken off globally, where the market is set to increase dramatically from 60-million unique users this year to nearly 200-million in 2018. It is with this in mind, that we designed this application for Manhattan Sweets that will drive customer engagements through a richer, immersive and interactive experience.”

“In fact, this application makes you feel ‘like a kid again’ as you explore the world of Manhattan Land, where the AR reality adds colourful graphics, fun sounds and feedback to your surroundings, to produce a creative consumer interaction,” says Assabi.

Kate Ludwig, marketing manager at Premier Foods Groceries Division says: “As a progressive brand we are always examining ways to add to our brand communication strategy, to the benefit of our customer base. Through our engagement with DSG and their uniquely tailored mobile and digital strategies, we have entered the AR space, which we feel is a pivotal move for the brand.

“DSG’s innovation in application development has created a visually impactful environment that allows us to bring the essence of the brand alive in an exciting and interactive way.”

The application works by allowing users to scan the Manhattan character on their purchased packet of sweets, with their mobile device.

“From here consumers are able to ‘transport’ the character into Manhattan Land and enter a world filled with sweets, games and rewards. The game functionality rewards players with ‘bubbles’ for each game played, and from 14 November 2013 to 31 January 2014, these bubbles, once popped, will allow players to be entered into a draw for some amazing prizes value at R100 000,” adds Ludwig.

“The application recognises the unique characters on the Manhattan sweet packaging, in a similar way to a QR code, and deploys them into the game, where the consumer can then explore the fun world around them by moving the device around,” says Marscelle Pillay, Digital Strategy and Creative team leader.

“The application is also the first Cost Per Download (CPD) model to be used in South Africa. It is a great way to promote an exciting application and have true performance based marketing. Once consumers start using the technology, they are then automatically transported into an interactive world with Manhattan Sweets.”

The application allows users to share their experiences on social media platforms such as Facebook and to play the game online and on a mobile device.

“With a commitment to building strategic partnerships the team looks forward to the digital journey with DSG. As technology continues to advance, Manhattan Sweets are thrilled to see how AR will drive our brand messages in the market, through entertaining and enjoyable platforms,” concludes Ludwig.