Kinder is cracking the Canadian market with augmented reality eggs

Ferrero is extending the playability of its surprise toys through the Applaydu app.


Ferrero is hoping for a Kinder surprise and delight with an augmented reality program it’s bringing to Canada.

The free Kinder Applaydu app experience, first brought to market in Europe and the U.S., includes AR that is activated by scanning the leaflet inside a Kinder Surprise that comes with the typical toy. Included are mini-games for motor skill development, a “Craft Your Story” game for boosting vocabulary, unlockable “gifts,” including animated 3D characters, avatar costumes, and personalized adventure books.

“This is the first time Kinder has built an app that actually brings your kids toys to life through AR, and allows families to immerse themselves in mini games while playing, learning and developing,” says Laura MacCarthy, marketing director for Kinder at Ferrero Canada.

According to MacCarthy, it really allows the confectionery brand to extend the playability of its toys hidden inside its eggs using digital methods. “It’s something we call ‘phygital’ – which combines the playfulness of the toy physically and digitally,” MacCarthy says, adding that Kinder has always been positioned around creating special moments and finding ways for parents and children to bond, and Applaydu is an extension of that objective.


Kinder is deploying a variety of ways to let parents with kids aged 4 to 9 know about the AR experience with an omni channel approach, both online and in-store.

“In-store communications and point-of-sale is an important part of the marketing mix,” MacCarthy says. “As such, we’ve developed a variety of tools to increase awareness, including wobblers, shelf blades, tear pads, display cards, and messaging on our merchandising units, in addition to a clear call-out on pack.

Ferrero is also partnering with its retailers to develop robust online presence in their e-commerce channels, recognizing the popularity of Kinder online.

According to MacCarthy, what Kinder gleaned from international launches was was the importance of focusing all communications on educating consumers about the app – really honing in on what the app is and does, instead of layering messages based on seasons or toy licenses. All the messaging, therefore, is singularly focused on how Applaydu brings your kids’ Kinder Surprise toys to life, so parents know exactly what it is.

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In addition to the shopper assets, Ferrero launched Applaydu through TV, OLV and social in October to build mass reach and awareness. It’s also supporting the launch through more focused efforts including search, influencers, and public relations and has teamed up with Today’s Parent, to spread the word with parents through targeted, sponsored content.

MacCarthy says that even before Ferrero started its advertising and marketing campaign, however, it had generated significant interest as evidenced by number of downloads.

“Right now, we’ve hit about 60% of our target downloads within the first three months alone,” MacCarthy says. “Our data shows that parents and kids are engaging with the app online and visiting regularly.”

According to MacCarthy, it aimed to launch in the fall, because it’s one of Ferrero’s busiest times of year, leading up to the holidays, and was a great way for the confectionery to showcase Applaydu across a variety of Kinder products – both everyday Kinder Surprise and some of our seasonal offerings, like Kinder Surprise Maxi, Kinder Seasonal Advent, etc.

MacCarthy maintains that Kinder is a trusted brand, the app, developed with Gameloft, and educational guidance from Oxford University, would be welcomed by parents. In addition to an unbranded experience, the games include a parental dashboard that is password protected and accessible only by parents. The app is The Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA+) compliant and has certification from kidSAFE, a third-party auditor on online children’s safety.

Forthought did the shopper marketing, Publicis led the creative and PhD the media buy. #PAID is managing influencer outreach, and Golin is handling PR.