Disney, Verizon Help Bring Children’s Wishes to Life with AR Experience


Arriving ahead of the debut of the animated film “Wish,” the mobile effort enables consumers to support children by donating Toys for Tots.

Augmented reality’s proponents have long espoused the digital tool’s ability to build and foster communities. With this Disney tie-in, Verizon demonstrates how buzzy tech like AR can help communities in need while tapping into the holiday spirit of giving and goodwill.

Through the “Wish on a StAR” experience, users can scan their phones across a room to view a night sky filled with stars, which allows them to make donations to a Toys for Tots chapter local to them. The activation uses Web-based augmented reality, which has become increasingly popular with marketers because it can launch from a browser or QR code and doesn’t require consumers to download an app or other tool to access the platform.

“We are excited to celebrate Disney’s all-new movie ‘Wish’ and collaborate with Toys for Tots, enabling us to craft an engaging, personalized AR experience that fosters a stronger connection between users and their community while also helping to transform children’s wishes into a reality this holiday season,” said Kristin McHugh, senior vice president of marketing and creative at Verizon, in release details.

The “Wish on a StAR” experience was made with agencies Momentum Worldwide and The Famous Group, per details shared with Marketing Dive.

The AR activation could help Disney cement its brand persona as a place where dreams can come true, arriving as the company celebrates its 100th anniversary. As a further tie-in to the movie, Verizon gave customers who made eligible purchases at the company’s retail stores on November 11 and 12 up to four tickets to an advance screening of the movie, which officially opens on November 22. The film is expected to gross over $50 million.

Over the past year, marketers have used AR to promote everything from tourism to hamburgers. AR was also a big theme in 2022’s holiday campaigns, largely because it enables consumers to try on items such as clothing or makeup before purchasing. Verizon’s campaign and Lego’s recently launched AR-powered transatlantic snowball fight demonstrate how marketers are using the tool to build connections with consumers.