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Buffer Busters get away in an Urban Dash

August 14, 2011 at 2:35 by Tim Comments

Augmented Reality games are heating up in different parts of the world: As MINI’s Getaway had proven that Stockholm can unite in a hunt for an elusive MINI Countryman, New Balance in New York and Vodafone in Germany are following in their (running) footsteps. The aim: use smartphones to move people into stores.

New Balance’s Urban Dash app asks New Yorker’s to grab and run with virtual batons, with the option of teaming up to be more effective. The aim is to redeem the batons for a pair of exclusive ‘NYC 574′ at their flagship store on 5th Avenue. Collect the most and win a baton of solid gold.

Simultaneously Vodafone Germany invite anyone to roam the streets and use their mobile AR game to bust some buffer demons. The alien-like buffers represent the annoying loading wheels, the ones keeping you from enjoying mobile content faster. Chase and bust as many buffers as you can and accumulate points to win a mobile flatrate for life. A fine twist is that you get 5-times as many points by entering a store to download the loot. The hype video and site is in German only but you’ll get the gist by clicking on “Übersicht” on the Buffer Busters micro site.

I think the campaigns have different strengths. NB’s ‘Urban Dash’ running is bang on product and the baton idea is easier to understand than the monster hunting. Vodafone’s buffer busting looks more fun to play and isn’t limited to a capital city (like Stockholm and New York) so it can be played and redeemed anywhere in Germany.

Agency behind all three apps (including the MINI Getaway) is Swedish Monterosa with respective partners Jung von Matt Stockholm (Getaway), Ogilvy New York (Urban Dash) and North Kingdom (Buffer Busters).

By the way, all these games are evolutions of location-based gaming godfather Mogi Mogi from Japan (2004).

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