As a nation we’re animal lovers at heart, especially cats. Most of them are cute, furry, mischievous little creatures.
 
That love of animals is a central plank of Purina’s Augmented Reality (AR) campaign for UK cat food brand Felix. Featuring the lovable mascot Felix, of course.
 
It’s something that has really caught our eye.
The #uptomischief campaign was used at Birmingham’s Bullring last month – big, iconic locations suit this sort of thing. It’s all about getting as many eyes as possible on the brand.
 
So how did it work? A mock living room is set up where members of the public would engage with an AR version of Felix. He ran, he jumped and he generally did what cats do. Times ten.
 
The results were snapped, filmed and recorded by thousands of people in the Bullring, with an accompanying broadcast on live screens throughout the venue.
 
Not only that, but the entire event was live streamed and received over three million views on Twitter alone. Yikes.
 

Remember what I said? Eyes on the brand.

 
This isn’t the first time Felix has been brought out to play. Last year, the Purina Puss took over Waterloo Station in London in an equally successful event. We say equally – it was named Top Experiential Campaign at the Drum Advertising Awards. 
 
In London, Felix took over digital advertising boards and ‘interacted’ with other brands in his usual chaotic fashion. These are whopping 40ft high screens, remember.

This time, an AR version of Felix joined commuters on their journey through the station. Using those huge screens, he reacted in real-time to each individual, meaning that no interaction was the same.
 
On the concourse, in a specially constructed kitchen area, even those funny seating areas where nobody likes to make eye contact.
 

The results?

Try these figures for size – over two million views online, 18.7% engagement rate, 95 % positive comments and an average 2.5 minutes per interaction. And don’t forget – those tweets and posts will be online forever, generating views, developing engagement and keeping young Felix in the public eye.
 
So apart from the outstanding commercial and awards success of both events, why is the AR version Felix such a good model for the future?
 
It shows that seen in isolation, AR is nice enough and in some circumstances, even mildly successful. Something to tell your friends about.
 
But to hit the absolute heights and generate millions of views, you have to do something different. Develop an AR ‘character’, employ it in a mix of technologies and make absolutely sure the location is right. Especially online.
 
Oh, and broadcast it live.
 
Don’t take our word for it. A minimum of at least five million online views across the Felix AR campaign (plus all those Facebook posts from people who were actually there) tells you all you need to know.
 
Felix isn’t just a cute, furry, mischievous little creature any more. Thanks to AR, he’s something of a phenomenon who put millions of new eye balls on his brand.