Mobile Augmented Reality Experiences Enhance the Holiday Season
Augmented reality (AR) is one of the biggest technology trends right now, and it’s only getting bigger as AR-ready smartphones and other devices become more accessible around the world. According to the Consumer Technology Association (CTA), smartphones are now owned in 87 percent of US homes. They also note the possibility that smartphone ownership will match TV ownership within the next five years.
AR lets us see the real-life environment right in front of us—trees swaying in the park, dogs chasing balls, kids playing soccer—with a digital augmentation overlaid on it. This holiday season marketers are leveraging the technology to drive both consumer engagement and purchases … and, in some cases, it is blended with print.
Here are just a few examples:
Walmart: This year Walmart is integrating AR with its printed catalogs. The shopper that downloads Walmart’s mobile app will be able to scan catalog pages and make purchases through the app. Walmart is also introducing app-based maps, which guide shoppers to specific shelves where they can find the items they saw online or in printed catalogs.
Coca-Cola: Coca-Cola’s holiday themed promotion is a large-scale AR experience. By scanning specially marked cans and bottles with the Coca-Cola mobile app, consumers can experience a Coke polar bear “arctic home” event. The soda brand's mobile app is free to download from Apple's App Store for iPhones and Google Play for Android devices.
Target: Target is leveraging AR this year to help consumers find their ideal Christmas tree. With its mobile app, consumers can take pictures of artificial fir trees in various sizes to see how those trees will look inside their own homes.
Starbucks: In November, Starbucks introduced an array of new holiday drinks, as well as four limited edition cup designs—each of which springs to life with its own AR effect on Instagram built from Facebook’s AR platform, helping to make the holiday season a little more magical.
Holidays Mean Engaging Consumers
Whether it is a printed can, cup, or a catalog, marketers want promotions that engage the consumer. They also want to simplify the purchasing process. With the focus on mobile technology and mobile apps, AR is building both relationships and sales this holiday season.
A digital printing and publishing pioneer and marketing expert, Barbara Pellow helps companies develop multi-media strategies that ride the information wave whether it is developing a strategy to launch a new product, building a strategic marketing plan or educating your sales force on how to deliver an effective value proposition. She brings the knowledge and skills to help companies expand and grow business opportunity. Barb has had a number of high-profile marketing and sales positions including Chief Marketing Officer for the Kodak Graphic Communications Group, Corporate Vice President of Marketing for IKON Office Solutions, and Vice President and General Manager for the Xerox Document Production Systems Group. She also served as the Gannett chair in integrated publishing sciences in Rochester Institute of Technology's (RIT) School of Printing Management and Sciences (SPMS). Most recently, Barb was the Group Director for Business Development at InfoTrends. She is currently the Manager of Pellow and Partners, LLC.
Barb can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org (Mobile, 585-734-2228)