Allegra, an allergy-relief drug owned by Sanofi, successfully employed mobile ads powered by augmented reality (AR) to engage with its target audience in Brazil.

Guido Merighi Buitoni, Sanofi’s global head/digital business transformation, discussed this subject at the 2019 Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity.

He referenced a campaign – developed in partnership with Teads, the global media platform – that used in-browser mobile ads to bring AR to a mass audience at a time when Allegra was becoming an over-the-counter product.

“We’re constantly looking to discover new things that matter to us and to our consumers,” he said. (For more, read WARC’s in-depth report: Allegra uses AR-driven ads to make an impact in Brazil.)

“In the case of AR, for example, we certainly don’t want to be blinded by new technologies just for the sake of it. We want to understand when these technologies do have an opportunity for us and, specifically, for our consumers.”

Allegra’s mobile AR campaign enabled consumers who interacted with its ads to capture a picture of their face via a smartphone camera and overlay it with cartoon-like images that depicted the symptoms that come with allergies.

Whether the individual concerned opted for an over-sized dripping nose or watery eyes, the underlying insight that informed Allegra’s strategy remained equally potent.

“We realised that they don’t necessarily take the symptoms very seriously, and they tend to postpone treatment, especially if they are younger sufferers,” said Buitoni.

“So, we felt there was a need to bring to life the experience of the symptoms – especially to our younger consumers.”

The campaign reached millions of people in brand-safe environments, recorded a dwell time of more than 30 seconds, and boosted core metrics like spontaneous awareness.

While Allegra did not have established benchmarks or key performance indicators regarding AR, Buitoni reported that the results were undoubtedly encouraging.

“I think this was really what you’re looking for – and it gives us the confidence that the association between the insight and the execution was quite solid and robust, and potentially something that we can look into scaling,” he said.

Sourced from WARC