White Castle celebrates a century of square hamburger sliders in a retro-new partnership with Coca-Cola.
In what might be considered a form of “newstalgia“, the burger chain is serving up a set of collectible cups that come to life via augmented reality. Sippers simply visit a special microsite on their mobile phones to scan the comic book artwork on the cups with their smartphone camera to see the complete history of White Castle through three eras. The restaurant brought on Bryan Moss, who is based in the company’s hometown of Columbus, Ohio, to create the one-of-a-kind artwork. Moss also made a mural for the White Castle Headquarters that includes panels from the collectible cups.
Collectible cups and comic books are considered staples of many consumers’ childhoods. But adding an element of magic via augmented reality takes the move to the next level. Lifting up the local artist community also adds a level of positive purpose that younger consumers in particular seek. This isn’t the first time White Castle has merged tradition with trend. Back in February, it introduced the “Slider Lover’s Point“, play on its classic Valentine’s Day dining offer, complete with carhop service and retro artwork. But it’s not the only brand betting on new-meets-old. Earlier this week, Pizza Hut transformed its pizza boxes into a classic game of Pac-Man, with a modern twist.
As consumers spend more time on their mobile devices, virtual channels present a prime opportunity for engagement and interaction, according to a Gartner report on the social platforms. That said, having consumers activate the cups via their smart phones reflects a growing shift toward the small screen. In the future, White Castle might consider tapping into the magic of QR codes to streamline the experience even more.