How Brian Blessed helped Lidl sell 17 million mince pies

Using Brian Blessed, Christmas and Facebook's new AR platform, 360i Europe created a game for Lidl that transformed Brian Blessed into Christmas food.

Background

In 2017, following a bumper Christmas of chatter and stellar sales the year before with the Lidl Social Price Drop, Lidl needed to cut through the clutter once more and stand out at the busiest time of year. So 360i, Lidl’s social agency, was tasked with driving positive conversation, at scale, with a made-for-social idea. 

The insight

Phones can make Christmas an antisocial time. What if social media could actually be what brings people together? 

Getting emojional with a tech first

Digital agency 360i Europe was one of just 30 companies to gain beta access to Facebook’s brand new augmented reality (AR) development platform. It used this to create UK’s first ever Facebook AR game, Emojional Christmas, making Lidl first retailer to launch a Facebook AR filter.

By opening the camera within the Facebook app, users could see themselves transformed into a Brussels sprout, a turkey, a Christmas pudding or even a mince pie – or they could play Emojional Christmas against friends and family, matching the facial expression of falling emojis on screen as quickly as possible to score points. 360i brought in the nation’s favourite Santa Claus – the one and only Brian Blessed – to bring its Christmas tech to life, and used smart media targeting to reach Lidl-fans up and down the country with a how-to message.

The results 

The campaign racked up 4.4 million engagements and 442,000 shares. Total dwell time was 50-times higher than was targeted, totalling 13,110 hours – that’s nearly a year and a half of interacting with the campaign.

In other stats: more than a million people used the turkey filter in just one particularly turkey-filled day and overall (the campaign doesn't take all the credit) Lidl sold 17 million mince pies.

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