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Lessons from Zappar and 7-Eleven’s Fall Football AR Campaign

by Caspar Thykier

Since 2018, Zappar and 7-Eleven have collaborated on the 7Rewards app, designed to award customers points that can be redeemed in-store towards 7-Eleven partner products. For years the application has rewarded loyalty and successfully driven users to store locations.

A central part of their strategy is the concept of ‘always-on’ AR, designed to delight customers and deliver continued high-quality value-added experiences for users by maximising their impressive range of brand partnerships. The consistency of activations establishes a strong relationship with customers, rewarding regular app usage as well as store visits and, crucially, ensuring it is never considered a novelty feature.


For the Fall Football campaign, the goal has remained the same: to drive interest towards 7-Eleven’s partners’ products via engaging experiences, as well as driving sales in-store via 7Rewards points. With a decade of experience working with AR, Zappar was well-placed to continue the relationship and help 7-Eleven maximise their reach and impact.


The Fall Football activity continued the ongoing success of their ‘always-on’ AR campaign, which included activations for Pepsi, Dr. Pepper, Doritos, Red Bull, Reese’s, BODYARMOR and the Deadpool 2 franchise, all having a major impact on app downloads. By June 2019, the app had over ten million engagements across 30+ mini-games. The key was to continue this success, by ensuring that users kept returning to the app whilst also attracting new customers by targeting different markets – in this case football fans.

Strategy-wise, the team wanted to create a timely experience that capitalised on a major social event, to draw interested users to the 7Rewards app. The retailer wanted to keep users engaged with the app, thus incentivising customers to visit their retail locations to spend their 7Rewards points.

Fall Football launched to celebrate the start of the NFLs sporting season, under the theme ‘Get Game Day Ready.’ The campaign featured a virtual avatar of Dallas Cowboys quarterback and 7-Eleven brand ambassador Dak Prescott, created via an innovative digital full-body scan. The virtual Dak featured in many of the mini-games as well as guiding customers through the experiences. By using immersive technology and the notion of football celebrity, the app was able to tap into an emotive time for fans of the game.

The campaign included several AR activations that rolled out between September and November, including:

— A re-design of the app menu to incorporate AR elements, where Dak Prescott speaks to the player;
— An AR field goal challenge, where players kick footballs through goal posts placed in the real world;
— A photo feature, where fans can take a selfie with virtual Dak.
— A mini-game where fans customise the look and end zone dance moves of their avatar
— A trick-shot game where players help Dak Prescott shoot and knock over branded bottles.


To encourage gameplay, a virtual Dak Prescott appeared in the app to introduce the new games, activities, and awesome selfie features available throughout the season. Along with Dak’s celebrity, mini-games that allowed photos or videos to be shared on social media also helped to drive additional interest in the app, resulting in more users over time. It also incentivised players to keep returning to the app to discover new mini-games as they were released.

The app benefitted from the AR implementation, immersing customers in the 7Rewards app as they engaged with the games and collected 7Reward points. Innovation-wise, AR kept users interested and playing consistently. By making the content fun and engaging, users were incentivised to return to the app and collect further points that could be spent in 7-Eleven stores.


The Fall Football Campaign successfully brought new customers to the 7Rewards app and converted users into retail footfall. Across all five mini-games, the app had:

— More than 2,700,000 scans over six months
— More than two minutes dwell time on the app
— More than 600,000 videos and photos shared
— More than 117,000,000 7Reward points generated that were spendable in-store

The key takeaway from is that consistent updates via engaging AR experiences helps to form a tight bond with customers, creating a positive relationship that works over multiple years to drive trips and transactions.

“7-Eleven is customer-obsessed, constantly delivering unique and exciting experiences for customers,” said Sr. Director of Digital Product Management, Sajjad Khan, “We wanted to push what’s possible with AR, creating a timely campaign that surprised and delighted our consumer base. Our Fall Football promotion has been one of our most popular campaigns ever, and over 35 million 7Rewards members can take advantage of the fun and value the AR games offer. We look forward to providing customers with even more experiences of the future as we continue to innovate, research and develop.”

Caspar Thykier is CEO and co-founder of Zappar.


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