Sonic Drive-In is mashing up 1970s technology with augmented reality via Snapchat to let people choose one of nine of its Slush flavors depending on how they feel—as detected by a mood ring.
Sonic Slush Rings are available for $9.99 for a limited time, with 100% of sales proceeds donated to public schools for supplies and learning resources through the Sonic Foundation.
Snapchat users can experience the nine, color-related moods by virtually trying on a ring using a special hand-recognition filter within Snapchat’s Lens Studio.
“Lens technology assigns each user one of the nine moods and its associated Slush flavor,” a Sonic marketing team rep tells Marketing Daily “The Lens then transforms the user's environment to fit the mood.”
As depicted on Instagram, the rings can be purchased by clicking a Shop Now button within the AR experience.
The original mood ring was invented in 1975 to detect finger temperature—which is largely regulated by blood flow—using heat-sensitive liquid crystals.
If a Sonic Slush ring turns purple, the chain prescribes a Grape Slush. Pink could indicate the mood for a Strawberry Slush.
Sonic associates the return of mood rings to other '80s and '90s nostalgic trends in the walkup to the Y2K crisis of 2000, when widespread computer outages were expected but did not occur.
“Y2K fashion and trends—like mood rings, bucket hats and low-rise jeans—are experiencing a resurgence in popularity right now among Gen Z, particularly on TikTok,” the Sonic rep says.
The Sonic Foundation is a division of the Inspire Brands Foundation, which says it donated more than $9 million last year to support youth-related organizations.
Inspire Brands Inc. acquired Sonic in 2018.