Holiday Even Brighter AR Filters

Entertainment, Marketing




AR - Mobile

Holiday Even Brighter AR Filters

Holiday Even Brighter AR Filters

H.E.B. Wins 2021 Gold Shorty Award for Creative Use of Technology Filter / Lens

H.E.B. won a Gold Shorty Award for the Holiday Even Brighter AR campaign work we did for them. H.E.B., Facebook Creative Shop, and Groove Jones worked together to bring the Gold Award for Creative Use of Technology Filter / Lens home.

The Shorty Awards are an annual awards show recognizing the people and organizations that produce real-time short-form content across the web.


2020 was tough but the Texas spirit is tougher and there’s nothing more Texan than H-E-B, a beloved grocery store brand focused on making the lives of Texans better since 1905. As the holiday season grew near, H-E-B was determined to be the literal light at the end of the tunnel, helping, inspiring and empowering Texans to “Holiday Even Brighter”.

From tighter budgets, lighter guest lists, first-time feast-making, and together time apart, H-E-B’s campaign centered around sparking joy deep in the heart of every Texan big or small, near or far. Holiday Even Brighter was a multi-platform, fully integrated marketing campaign with two key strategic paths, both equally critical to the success creating the magic the campaign promised – functional and inspirational.

One key component of the inspirational strategic track included H-E-B’s creation of three augmented reality experiences. With customers not being able to go out and capture holiday memories, H-E-B saw the need to create some Texas-sized magic that customers could enjoy while shopping in store, or from the comfort of their own home. Key objectives for the augmented reality experience centered around participation, building brand equity through time-spent and engagement with the experiences. Most importantly, H-E-B gave Texans an unexpected way to Holiday Even Brighter this year – making sure no one missed their 2020 Santa pic.


Any other year, families would wait in line to sit on Santa’s lap, travel to grandma’s house to play in the snow, or attend a downtown tree lighting. With those traditions cancelled due to COVID-19, H-E-B used the innovation of AR to enable Texans to capture those memories through the creation of three AR experiences, complete with both selfie and forward-facing AR effects. H-E-B worked with Groove Jones and Facebook Creative Shop to create unique, engaging experiences and help Texans unlock the holly jolly both in stores, and at home.

  • A Visit with Santa: H-E-B reimagined the in-store tradition of the celebrated Santaland photo-opp for a digital world with an inclusive Santa AR filter that allowed shoppers to choose a Santa that looked like them with custom skin tones (and an H-E-B badge!).
  • Southern Snow Globe: H-E-B added a Texas spin to the traditional Winter Wonderland, complete with Texas-themed winter characters like a Gingerbread Sheriff, a snowy cayote and the Gingerbread Alamo.
  • Winter Wonderland: H-E-B created a winter wonderland allowing Texans to click on a present and suddenly step into a forest of Christmas trees with woodland creatures.

To engage shoppers when they were most interested, H-E-B developed an assortment of entry points for these AR effects ranging from home to the store.

  • In-Store: Throughout the nearly 400 H-E-B stores in Texas, QR codes that let shoppers enter the AR effect were sprinkled throughout the store for easy, contactless engagement. QR codes were placed strategically both in store (freezer clings and store signage had easy to scan codes) as well as at home with customers so they could engage with the experience from the comfort of their home – codes were printed on Christmas tree tags, holiday pies, recipe cards and more.
  • At Home: Knowing our shoppers can also be in a more traditional (less digital) mindset when it comes to shopping our stores, we developed a Facebook and Instagram video ad campaign that showed people how easy it is to use our filters & how much joy the digital world (AR) could bring the physical world (homes across Texas). These ads were accompanied by an influencer campaign featuring James Van Der Beek and his family as they discovered and delighted in the AR filters across their H-E-B store, as well as YouTube/TikTok influencer and friend of H-E-B Annie Rose.


Facebook Lift Study Results:

  • Drove purchase intent by +3.1 Pts (3x vertical norm), surpassing 6 out of 7 of H-E-B’s previous product-oriented brand lift studies
  • Shifted ad recall by +6 Pts, and even higher within the A45-54 cohort (9.6 Pts)
  • Drove a 60% decrease in Cost per Incremental Ad Recall compared to H-E-B’s Holiday 2019 campaign
  • Boomers (A45-64) exposed to the AR campaign were 50% more likely to consider H-E-B for holiday products, compared to the general population who saw the same AR unit

In just over three weeks in-market, our AR effects exceeded shoppers’ expectations- successfully bringing holiday joy to their homes (engagement) and exciting shoppers about shopping at H-E-B for their holiday needs (affinity and purchase intent). The AR experiences combined to more than 418,000 views.

This campaign built brand affinity and drove record-breaking Purchase Intent (even over a corresponding promotional campaign!).

  • Drove H-E-B purchase intent by +3.1 Pts. (which is 3x Vertical Norms) (Facebook Brand Lift Report)
  • This purchase intent was over 3x the intent driven by the holiday promotional ads run during the same period (Facebook Brand Lift Report)
  • Shifted Ad Recall by +6 Pts. over the Control Group, particularly with the 45-54 year-old cohort @ +9.6 Pts. (9x the holiday promotional ads during this period) (Facebook Brand Lift Report)
  • AR campaign also drove a 60% decrease in cost per incremental ad recall compared to Holiday 2019 (Facebook Brand Lift Report)

H-E-B’s leadership often says, “we’re a people company, we just happen to sell groceries.” This brand truth shined bright during the holiday season of 2020. Through their Holiday Even Brighter campaign, this Texas grocery store delivered on its promise to inspire and enable Texans to celebrate the season despite the year’s challenges… by bringing Santa to Texan homes and a winter wonderland (in more ways than one!) to the Lone Star state.

COMPANY: Groove Jones

By | July 20, 2021

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