We all loved The Beano, or Bunty, or The Bash Street Kids, or Girl’s Own, or Jackie, or Diana. We all loved them.

Now the annual has evolved, with Zappar and Pedigree books working together. Sonic the Hedgehog, Angry Birds, and others (admittedly not Desperate Dan) will have 20% of their pages embedded with content that can be seen through the Zappar app.

The content will include extended character profiles, extra stories and activities such as colouring, mazes, puzzles and a ‘make your own poster’ feature.

First of all, watch this brilliant video from Zappar, which on its own is an example of how to do a cheap and very effective PR video. I was laughing while watching, partly due to the entertaining subject matter, but partly because I was so pleased to watch a video without an annoying part-time actor voiceover.


In my view this is the perfect use case for augmented reality, and here’s why.

It’s a great compromise

Kids need incentives to read. This, in effect, gamifies reading for kids, and whilst it might not be appropriate for Charles Dickens, it works brilliantly for oft-ignored children’s annuals.

It gets Zappar onto the phones of a key demographic

Ok, some kids might be using their parents’ phones to view this content. But those children that have and use their own phone will necessarily download Zappar’s app. Zappar thus gets access to consumers who are here for a good while, and perhaps will have limited user issues with adoption. This could be a great way to get the Zappar ball rolling on a bigger scale, if rolled out to more print.

It’s cross-channel

Even though the engagement happens through the Zappar app, this is a good way to get users used to a brand’s content on their phone. So a Pedigree title, e.g. Annoying Orange (which, by the way, is brilliant, see below), suddenly becomes ripe for further publishing online or through a mobile app. 

It’s static

Many of the gripes around AR stem from its perceived impracticality. Here, the book will often be steady, on the floor in the home, and the user can easily interact with the app, without having to lean after a poster on an underground platform (for example).

Founder and MD of Zappar, Caspar Thykier, said:

We’re delighted to be partnering with Pedigree to bring these fantastic brands to life through this new initiative and a new sector for us. We’ve used our Zappar platform to bring an extra dimension to the Annuals sector in a way that has never been seen before. We can’t wait to see what kids make of discovering these hidden bits of bite-sized entertainment.

If you're interested in creative or multichannel marketing, Econsultancy runs PUNCH and JUMP respectively, as part of the Festival of Marketing, October 8-10th in London. Check it out or leave me some comments below.

Ben Davis

Published 7 August, 2013 by Ben Davis @ Econsultancy

Ben Davis is Editor at Econsultancy. He lives in Manchester, England. You can contact him at ben.davis@econsultancy.com, follow at @herrhuld or connect via LinkedIn.

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Comments (2)


Dr Bruce Rae

OMG - I saw that picture of Paul McCartney and I took me back to the first time I ever saw/heard/fell in love with the Beatles!
I am teaching in the UK and I found your content very nice except "The Apple" video ;-)
Dr Bruce Rae

almost 5 years ago


Nick Hill, Head of e-Commerce at www.tech21.com

What a great use of AR to what I would imagine is just the sort of demographic this would appeal to.

To complete the circle, UK company Proporta has also launched a range of augmented phone cases aimed at the younger market (which I confess I have a vested interest in / shameless plug):
www.proporta.co.uk/zappar-iphone-5-case-sunburst, which brings your smartphone case to life.


almost 5 years ago

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