The Smiler

The Brief

Alton Towers wanted to encourage footfall and drive sales ahead of the launch in park. There was a huge wait for launch and the client needed a way to capture and retain the audience interest in advance, whilst creating buzz around a product that was strictly under wraps.

Our Solution

We created The Smiler to provide a teaser experience – as the user plays they unlock more elements to provide a closer look at the finished article. A competition element kept users engaged, whilst integrating further promotional activity.

AR scanning in park avoided the limitation of GPS/wifi. Players used the scanner on designated trigger images to unlock hidden in-app items – the game could only be completed by visiting Alton Towers. AR trigger points were also placed along the rides’ queue lines to entertain the waiting guests.



The mobile platform created a hub for users to participate and engage with the brand before, during and even post launch – this amplified and extended the full experience.

The content was sharable socially and created a huge buzz on user forums, whilst communicating a wealth of product detail and information.


This smart pre-launch awareness tool achieved multiple objectives, and gained over 4.5 million engagements that lasted on average 3 minutes. A large percentage of these users returned for repeat visits and the AR Scanner was used over 500k times. The app added value and enhanced the real life product experience, achieving brand engagement and social buzz ahead of launch, while maintaining and building interest between the announcement and a launch.