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General Mills conducts augmented reality Olympic promotion

Mississauga-based General Mills Canada has begun a new Olympic-themed promotion involving augmented reality packaging for several of its cereal and snack brands. According to the company, this is the first time General Mills has undertaken this kind of promotion.

During the campaign, approximately six million packages of General Mills products will encourage consumers to participate in an augmented reality experience by downloading a mobile application from New York-based software company Blippar. When viewed through the application, the packaging will provide an augmented experience involving one of eight Canadian athletes set to participate in the 2014 Olympic Winter Games. Consumers can play a game, create photographs of themselves standing with the athletes, and browse a profile of the individual.

"We are continuing our long-standing commitment to the Olympic Games by building a connection to the athletes themselves," said David Struthers, director of promotions and digital marketing at General Mills. "By using this technique, which we have never used before on our packaging, we are able to make Canadians feel much more connected to the athletes. We are using the very broad reach of our on-pack real estate to bring the athletes and consumers closer together."

The eight athletes are hockey players Eric Staal and Hayley Wickenheiser, snowboarders Caroline Calvé and Mark McMorris, figure skater Patrick Chan, skier Rosalind Groenewoud, speedskater Charles Hamelin and Paralympic skier Josh Dueck.

Participating General Mills brands include Cheerios, Reese Puffs, Oatmeal Crisp, Lucky Charms, Nature Valley, Betty Crocker and others. General Mills is an official sponsor of the Canadian Olympic team.

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