Tic Tac to Erect Interactive Billboard in Times Square

Augmented reality app will put consumers in a Times Square ad

Tic Tac will unveil a nearly 300-foot billboard in Times Square starting Monday (Feb. 14) that, when consumers scan it using thieir cell phone cameras and a dedicated mobile app, they'll be able to see themselves within the oversized billboard and then share the photo via Facebook and Twitter. The campaign will be the brand’s second augmented-reality initiative to launch in as many weeks.

Earlier this month the brand launched the Tic Tac Viewr app for Android and Apple devices (separate from the app tied to the Times Square billboard) as part of its “Shake It Up” campaign. That app is also designed to interact with print and outdoor ads. Depending on which of the campaign’s ads consumers encounter, they'll unlock different contents — all tied to the theme of "shaking up their lives."

For example, some Tic Tac print ads will unlock a fun fact, while an out-of-home ad might unlock a game or a tip. "It’s way that we’re getting the communication message across but it’s also fun for the consumer,” Noah Szporn, category manager for Tic Tac. Consumers can also scan Tic Tac containers to access the content.

Aimed at 18-35-year-olds, the campaign is intended to “modernize the brand” and  raise awareness among consumers who are “still forming their loyalties in the category,” Szporn said. “The future of the brand resides with making that connection with that target and getting them involved in our product, in our brand, so you can build a loyalty with them,” he said.

In addition to running print ads in major publication such as Entertainment Weekly, Rolling Stone and Sports Illustrated, Tic Tac is integrating with Nylon’s and Spin’s mobile and tablet apps. The campaign’s outdoor ads will appear in New York, Atlanta, Los Angeles and Chicago because of the markets’ large population of Millennials and popular public transit systems.

Tic Tac is currently running the first of three planned TV spots tied to the campaign. In addition, Szporn said that Tic Tac plans to launch a new augmented reality game every three to four months and each iteration will be housed within the Viewr app. The next game will support the brand’s Fruit Avenger flavor this summer and will be coupled with a Mini Cooper giveaway.

Tic Tac is working with all of its agencies on the “Shake It Up” campaign, but figuring heavily in the effort are the brand’s ad agency Merkley + Partners, media agency Zenith Media and PR agency MSL New York.