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WebAR Experience by Coca-Cola First in South Africa

A look at Coca-Cola's project and WebAR in general.


Coca-Cola is one of the most internationally recognized brands ever. Their marketing strategy often focuses on the brand’s history and its maintenance of the traditional recipe. As a result, even with the recent advent of new flavors, we don’t always think of the soft-drink giant as an innovator. However, the company’s marketing department recently made a huge first with a WebAR experience in South Africa.

What Is WebAR?

Before we dive into the experience, let’s briefly reintroduce WebAR.

WebAR experience Coca-Cola Zappar

Until recently, AR experiences needed to take place through dedicated hardware or software applications. This resulted in powerful applications that were often limited in who could experience them and how they could be shared.

WebAR refers to augmented reality experienced through a smartphone’s browser using just the camera.

The technology has its limitations, but there are two main reasons that users and advertisers alike love it. The first is that virtually anybody can experience it – even without an expensive kit or a powerful phone. The second is that experiences made with WebAR are easier to share than those made with dedicated apps.

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“All consumers need to do is scan the QR code on our cans to launch the AR experience via their web browser, rather than downloading an app, Nicky Pillay, Senior Digital Transformation Manager Southern and East Africa at the Coca-Cola Company, said in a release shared with ARPost. “This both removes friction but also extends the potential audience that can access the content.

Now that we have a working understanding of WebAR, let’s look at the experience.

A Look at the Experience

Remember the days when AR experiences all required printed targets? That’s a bad set-up when you want an experience to work anywhere. However, it’s actually a really great way to associate an experience with a product.

The experience, a part of the #Refreshwherevs campaign, uses QR codes on the product packaging as a target.

That starts the experience, which works like most camera filters. Users view themselves through their selfie-cams with coke bottles or caps on their heads.

coca cola zappar WebAR experience

The Team That Made It Happen

The experience was created by Coca-Cola, Zappar, and SkyDigital SA.

If you’re a regular reader of ARPost, Zappar should sound familiar. Last spring, they rolled out an updated version of their AR content creation platform. Then, just earlier this month, they formed a partnership taking steps to give property owners control over their digital space.

SkyDigital is a branding company that specializes in using digital innovation to help clients stand out.

WebAR and Modern Marketing

The #Refreshwherevs campaign is an ongoing project by Coca-Cola to recognize – and market to – young creatives.

Specifically, the campaign focuses on “centennials” – also known as “Gen Z.” This cohort, born roughly between 1997 and 2012, is both more health-conscious and more tech-focused than previous generations.

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Jon Jaehnig
the authorJon Jaehnig
Jon Jaehnig is a freelance journalist with special interest in emerging technologies. Jon has a degree in Scientific and Technical Communication from Michigan Technological University and lives in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. If you have a story suggestion for Jon, you may contact him here.