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    Kroger, Totino’s and Driver Team for Augmented-reality Racing Video Game

    The General Mills brand’s pizza box serves as a serving wheel.

    Totino’s has launched an exclusive promotion with Kroger that enables consumers to use the General Mills brand’s pizza boxes to play an augmented-reality video game starring Cup driver Clint Bowyer. The game will be prominently featured on specially marked Totino’s boxes sold only at Kroger stores from Feb. 13 through May 31.

    Fans can use the box to activate the “Get Behind the Wheel” game with a computer webcam. The box does double duty as a steering wheel to move the car along the track. The game can be viewed by visiting http://media.get-behind-the-wheel.com/.

    “The interactive technology enhances the consumer’s experience with Totino’s,” noted Drew Jameson, customer promotions marketing manager for Minneapolis-based General Mills, which is a sponsor of Bowyer’s Sprint Cup Series car. “Families can enjoy a great pizza followed by game night!”

    Augmented reality combines real and virtual worlds and is interactive in real time. Players can trigger the augmented-reality world through the use of a “marker” -- a black-and-white square -- that a computer webcam registers to begin the game. Consumers without webcam access will be able to play the game using keyboard controls.

    The player steers Bowyer’s No. 33 General Mills car in a race to get him from his house to the Daytona 500 in as quickly as possible, so that he doesn’t miss the race. Bowyer provides the voice-over for the game, which includes time-consuming obstacles players must avoid along the way, among them oil slicks, garbage cans and construction cones. Additionally, players can accumulate “speed boosts” to help them move faster.

    The specially marked Totino’s boxes will give players the ability to control the car’s steering left or right, while they can use their mouse to change gears to adjust the speed. High scores are recorded in a local and global scoreboard, encouraging players to try to beat the fastest time.

    There’s also a mini-game within the game: When players get to the “pit stop,” they try to fill Bowyer’s car with as many Totino’s pizzas and pizza rolls snacks as they can, which raises the player’s fuel meter and “fuels” Bowyer. Without the pizzas, the player will run out of gas and Bowyer’s car won’t get to the race.

    The microsite hosting the game will also feature an instant-win sweepstakes that will send four fans to the 2012 Daytona 500. Two players chosen at random will each win a three-day, two-night trip for two to attend the top racing event and receive a pit and garage tour.

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