Starbucks Adds AR to Christmas with the Cup Magic App

Starbucks is bringing more fun to consumer experience this holiday season by launching its first major augmented reality smartphone app featuring five Starbucks Holiday characters from the brand’s red coffee cups, Christmas Blend bags, in-store and more. This app, developed by Blast Radius, will be launched on November 15—it comes as a hilarious addition to the range of Starbucks’ applications, which includes the mobile payment and Card e-gift apps. It will allow consumers to play with the animated characters (they perform somersault and jumps when get tapped on) and win a prize for activating all of them (so far, the brand doesn’t unveil what exactly it will be).

It is very simple to use the Cup Magic application, which will be available in the U.S. and Canada (there, only iPhone version will be launched) starting next week. To make fictional characters from Starbucks Xmas packaging and containers come alive, one has to point a camera on his or her mobile device at the season coffee cups or other themed merchandise and display locations at the company’s stores. On the screen, there will appear five Christmas characters—a squirrel, a boy and a dog sledding, an ice skater, and a fox—and for more fun a user can tap on them to see how these fictional creatures have fun on snow. In addition to that, consumers are invited to share the holiday spirit with their family and friends using the app—by sending them e-cards and Starbucks holiday offers as well as the animated characters. reports that Alexandra Wheeler, VP global digital marketing at Starbucks commented that the new application was created to “surprise and delight” customers this holiday season. “Although Starbucks experimented with an AR app years ago in an ad, Wheeler says this is the first major AR push by the company,” writes the online new site.


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