While augmented reality (AR) adoption in America has dawdled compared to markets like Brazil and Germany, Budweiser’s test last month targeting Nascar  fans suggests the U.S. is catching up.
The brand sprinkled the aisles of major retailers nationwide with product displays that encouraged shoppers to download its new AR-enabled app for smartphones and the iPad. It let users snap virtual photos with Nascar star Kevin Harvick and publish them on Facebook and Twitter .
“People are engaging with the app in high numbers,” said Lucas Herscovici, vp of digital marketing at AB InBev. “It transforms marketing assets from static pieces to engaging content.”
During the three-week test, consumers used the mobile app an average of seven times, spending six minutes per visit, per Budweiser.
Budweiser’s in-store signage features an image of Harvick pitching the chance to get exclusive videos, photos and other items from his pit crew. “The in-car video footage is great,” Harvick said. “The app gives a look inside our team you cannot get anywhere else.”
AB InBev  is continuing the Nascar-themed initiative while launching an app for Bud Light with the National Football League in the coming weeks.
“These partnerships are tremendous in getting people to download that app,” said Greg McLeod, vp of grocery channels and trade marketing for Budweiser.