Just 'Blipp' It: Budweiser Using Augmented Reality App as Part of Unique Summer Philanthropy Program for Military Families

By 'Blipping the Bowtie,' Smartphone Users Could Help Direct Which U.S. States Get Scholarships Through 'Folds of Honor'

May 24, 2013, 08:00 ET from Anheuser-Busch

ST. LOUIS, May 24, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- For more than 150 years, Anheuser-Busch, its employees and family of wholesalers have supported America's armed forces through numerous programs and philanthropic efforts.  These include lending resources, raising funds for veterans and assisting dependents of military families. 

(Photo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20130524/CG20452-INFO)

But until now, Budweiser has never used social media to help direct where in the United States a portion of this support could go.  That's all changed with a new summer program just starting that uses a free smartphone app called Blippar.

This summer, as Budweiser donates up to $1.5 million to the Folds of Honor Foundation*, the brand is asking its customers to help choose which U.S. states could receive a portion of the proceeds. 

How does it work? The iconic brand is asking adult beer lovers to:

  • Download Blippar from the iPhone store or Google Play.
  • "Blipp the Bowtie" by opening the app and aiming the smart phone screen at the Budweiser bowtie logo found on all Budweiser packaging, including the new "red, white and blue" packaging now in stores. This then triggers the interactive mobile experience.
  • Pick a U.S. state to help determine where a portion of the philanthropic support could be directed as they learn more about the Folds of Honor Foundation, which provides educational scholarships to the families of soldiers wounded or fallen while serving their country.

"The 10 states with the most support are eligible to receive a total of $100,000 of dedicated scholarship funds in 2014," said Lori Shambro, director of Budweiser. "So we are taking $100,000 of our larger donation and asking people to help us direct where that portion goes. And perhaps more importantly, the app also drives awareness for the Folds of Honor Foundation, which Budweiser has supported with more than $5 million in donations since 2010."

Watch a demonstration of the app here

Through a series of videos available through the Blippar app, Budweiser drinkers get a chance to "meet" some of the men and women who have benefited from the support of Folds of Honor.

Each Folds of Honor scholarship has an approximate value of $5,000, allowing Budweiser to provide up to 300 scholarships from coast to coast from this summer 2013 program.

At the end of the summer, the top 10 states chosen by consumers will be allocated two Folds of Honor 2014 scholarships for eligible applicants based on the Blippar program.

"We've used Blippar for other brand programs, but never in a philanthropic program designed to generate awareness of a non-profit while encouraging consumers to support their local community," said Lucas Herscovici, vice president of digital for Anheuser-Busch.   "This program gives us a unique way to use technology to enhance our longstanding relationship with the Folds of Honor Foundation in a way that Budweiser drinkers can share the experience with friends through Twitter, Facebook, email and Google Plus."

In recognition of the company's long history of service to the men and women of the military and their families, the Department of Defense presented Anheuser-Busch with the Secretary of Defense Outstanding Public Service Award in 2009.

"Blippar is excited to be part of this incredibly worthwhile Budweiser campaign and proud to use our innovative technology to help direct financial support to deserving military families," said Jess Butcher, Chief Marketing Officer and Co-Founder of Blippar. "Our technology enables static images – like Budweiser's iconic logo – to come to life instantly, connecting the physical with the digital and allowing the user to actively engage with the Budweiser brand."

About Anheuser-Busch
Based in St. Louis, Anheuser-Busch is the leading American brewer, holding a 47.7 percent share of U.S. beer sales to retailers.  The company brews Budweiser and Bud Light, two of the world's largest-selling beers.  Anheuser-Busch is a major manufacturer of aluminum cans and has been a leading aluminum recycler for more than 30 years.  The company is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Anheuser-Busch InBev, the leading global brewer, and continues to operate under the Anheuser-Busch name and logo.  For more information, visit www.anheuser-busch.com.

About Folds of Honor
FHF was founded in May 2007 by Major Dan Rooney, a former F-16 Fighter Pilot with the Oklahoma Air National Guard, PGA Professional, and USGA member. A decorated military pilot, Maj. Rooney has served three combat tours in Iraq. It was after his second tour, while a passenger on a commercial flight, that Maj. Rooney witnessed an event that would profoundly change his life. As the plane landed, the pilot announced, "Ladies and gentlemen, we have an American hero on board – Corporal Brock Bucklin. And his twin brother, Corporal Brad Bucklin, is accompanying him home from Iraq. As a sign of respect, please remain seated while Cpl. Bucklin's family receives him in his final homecoming." Maj. Rooney watched through the window of the plane as the flag-draped casket was lowered. He saw a family waiting for Brock, and a little four-year old boy waiting for his father. This tragic homecoming inspired Maj. Rooney to create the Folds of Honor Foundation. To learn more about FHF, visit www.foldsofhonor.org.

About Blippar™
Blippar™ is the leading image-recognition platform for smartphones and tablets, instantly bringing physical newspapers, magazines, products, signage and merchandising to life. Utilizing proprietary, best-in-class technology, Blippar™ enables users to unlock the physical world with stunning interactive, digital content experiences and engage with their favorite brands, publications and celebrities via their mobile devices. Since launching in the UK in 2011, Blippar™ has expanded rapidly, partnering with some of the biggest and most exciting brands and media owners in the world. To learn more, visit:www.blippar.com

* Budweiser and the Anheuser-Busch Foundation will donate 2 cents per case of Budweiser sold, May 5 - July 4, 2013, with a maximum donation of $1.5 million to the Folds of Honor Foundation.

For more information, contact:
Joe Muehlenkamp

SOURCE Anheuser-Busch