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Vodafone revives ‘Elf and Seek’ AR game for Christmas 2023

Vodafone has released its latest campaign to spread festive joy by relaunching ‘Elf and Seek’ – a free-to-play Augmented Reality (AR) game.  

Created by Denstu UK&I in 2022, ‘Elf and Seek’ offers a treasure hunt style experience, encouraging players to use their phones to catch little digital elves for a chance to win thousands of prizes powered by VeryMe, Vodafone’s exclusive rewards programme.

The interactive game combines the very latest AR, geotagging and media technology for a fun, seamless experience, that was last year played by over 245,000 people, with 270,000 elves picked up and up to 20,000 prizes claimed.

This year, families will enjoy a bigger, more connected experience with hundreds of thousands more digital elves being hidden around the country. The UK public, on any network will be able to access the game from the 11th until 24th December* and are being encouraged to interact with outdoor sites, social posts and custom Pearl & Dean cinema spots.

In a media first, Vodafone also brings the campaign to Ocean Outdoor’s interactive screens at Westfield London, Liverpool’s Media Wall, Printworks in Manchester, and The Screen in Nottingham. Guided by brand ambassadors, players can scan the interactive billboards to be in for a chance of capturing additional elves and winning one of the many prizes up for grabs. Users will also be able to secure more elves by interacting through social and tagging @VodafoneUK plus using #ElfandSeek to ask Vodafone to drop elves near them.

Maria Koutsoudakis, Brand Director, Vodafone UK said: “Given our theme for our Christmas campaign this year revolved around traditions, and a clever little twist on the role of the elf this Christmas, we are excited to have our Elf and Seek game back for the second  year. This will be our most ambitious year yet, with a longer running campaign,  more players, more prizes and off course more elves.

“It’s a great way of getting everyone excited about Christmas, in a fun light-hearted way, so get playing and find those elves!”.

Chris Davey, Dentsu Creative UK Head of Creative said: “It’s fantastic to see innovation at the heart of Vodafone’s Christmas campaign this year. It’s a perfect example of how brands can move into the gaming space in a way that consumers will find instantly engaging and rewarding.”

The range of prizes include an all-inclusive family winter sun holiday to Tenerife, weekends away, Nintendo Switches, Lavazza Coffee machines, entertainment bundles and Amazon gift cards. The game will also give people the chance to donate one of 50,000 SIM cards to those in need, as part of Vodafone’s Everyone.Connected commitment that aims to help four million people and businesses cross the digital divide by 2025.

Users can access the game via www.elfandseek.com from 11th December to 24th December 2023.

Teams across Dentsu have collaborated to bring the campaign to life this year: Dentsu Creative conceived and created the AR game, alongside Carat. Dentsu Entertainment and Carat worked together on media, brokering the partnerships with Ocean Outdoor and Pearl & Dean, ensuring all media drives consumers to the game. Ocean and Smart Media Technologies delivered the outdoor campaign.

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