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Special Project

Special Project
From the 13th Annual Shorty Awards

H-E-B helps Texas Holiday Even Brighter through AR innovation

Gold Honor in Filter/Lens

Entered in Creative use of Technology


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. 

Strategy and Execution

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.  

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.


Facebook Lift Study Results:

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!). 

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.


Video for H-E-B helps Texas Holiday Even Brighter through AR innovation

Entrant Company / Organization Name

H-E-B, Groove Jones, Facebook Creative Shop


Entry Credits