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Augmented reality and virtual reality are the source of growing buzz.
For brands interested in exploring them, which is the more worthy technology?
Everybody loves buying a knick-knack, drilling a hole or wielding a tool in the garden.
After last week's post on IKEA creative was well received, I've stuck with the home improvement theme and rounded up 10 marketing campaigns from Lowe's.
Personally, I think 2014 was the year when the hype around digital technology in retail stores crested a wave.
By 2015, I was writing fairly sceptical posts about the screens in the corner that nobody uses.
However, now that the noise around kiosks, beacons and mobile loyalty has died down, it seems a good time to assess the landscape.
I’m going to nail my colours to the mast. I think augmented reality (AR) technology is already big and can be massive.
The only thing is, I don’t think its best use is in augmenting reality, per se.
Where AR apps have a big future is the creation of a ‘physical world domain’. That’s a phrase used by Ambarish Mitra, CEO of Blippar. It essentially means using objects as the physical keys to information or rewards online.
Blippar signed up with Pepsi and Coca Cola recently and this feels like a game changer. With QR codes failing to be implemented properly in many cases (with bad placement, instructions, URLs, or landing pages), the company could be well-placed to own the discovery and reward space.
FMCG (fast moving consumer goods) feels like a proving ground for this technology (and all reports of the number of scans are good, so far), with immense numbers of units providing marketing real estate to rival any other ‘channel’.
So why might it be so powerful as a tag or key, but not as augmenter?
Mobile marketing trends come and go, just like the changing of the seasons and the tides of the sea.
Some stick around and become established marketing channels in their own right, such as SMS or mobile apps, but all too often new mobile technologies burn brightly for a short period before withering and dying.
With this in mind, I’ve rounded up three mobile marketing trends that have so far failed to live up to the hype. I’m not saying they’re dead yet, but they’re on shaky ground.
For a similar grumblings about mobile trends, read my post looking at 12 usability flaws that are spoiling the mobile web.
Or alternatively, expand your knowledge of this topic by downloading the Econsultancy Mobile Marketing and Commerce Report 2013...
Since 2009, the British Museum has educated youngsters in Bloomsbury via its Samsung Digital Discovery Centre (SDDC). It’s free, and is the most extensive on-site digital learning programme of any UK museum.
I went along to the British Museum last week to see the launch of a new image recognition and augmented reality (AR) app, A Gift for Athena, helping kids to engage with the museum’s Parthenon gallery.
The app, built by Gamar, is simple in premise and use, but also a lot of fun, showing that augmented reality can succeed when applied in the right manner.
In this post I’ll discuss why the app works, and what’s needed to succeed with AR.
Digital is becoming ever more important for the comic industry.
Although the industry is guarded when it comes to revealing figures, Comixology (which release digital comics from the major publishers and many independents) has cited reaching 50m downloads in January 2012 and doubling that figure to 100m only 10 months later in October.
Physical comic book sales have been pushing against the tide of declining sales in other print media for some time now, with 2012 showing a 15% increase in sales year on year, and 2013 showing a similar trend.
It's clear the success of digital comics is increasing rapidly and concurrently with print, and it’s Marvel, who in the last few years has shown incredible skill in rebuilding its own brand, which is offering a lot more in terms of technology and service in its range of apps for mobiles and tablets.
When I was a kid, riding trolleys down supermarket aisles and giving my twin brother beats in public were the symptoms of my boredom at the local Tesco or Asda.
That was before ‘retail-tainment’ involved the smartphone or tablet.
The supermarket is the perfect crucible for 'retail-tainment'. Outside of big cities, supermarkets are captive markets, often entailing a long visit with the family, and competing with rival stores on a weekly basis.
Winning the battle to keep kids obedient or event interested in store would be a boon for any supermarket chain.
At the moment, there are supermarkets such as Asda that are synonymous with family, but none that have mastered retailtainment. More apps and in-store challenges with rewards will provide an effective antidote to the rogue use of toys by children that then abandon them in the bakery aisle.
Asda is using Zappar to offer kids the chance to be greeted by Sir Spook in 400 of its stores. Combined with some physical events, pumpkin carving and the like, they're aiming to be the family supermarket at Halloween.
Last week I wrote an article that asked whether Argos is doing enough to integrate digital technologies into its print catalogue.
The retailer has a number of QR codes dotted throughout the magazine as well as ads for its click-and-collect service, but I felt that it could do more to embed extra content within its pages.
As it turns out, Argos has actually been trialling an interactive catalogue in the north east of England that uses Blippar’s augmented reality technology.
Argos was nice enough to send me a copy of its special edition, so here’s a look at how the technology works...
While strolling around Farringdon the other day I was handed a copy of the new Argos catalogue by a cheery store employee.
Print has long been the backbone of Argos’ business and no doubt still is, yet as times change digital will become a more important revenue stream.
So, here’s a quick look at how Argos is adapting to the changing times...
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.
Sergey Brin recently ignited conversation about Google’s Glass by claiming that using a mobile phone was ‘emasculating’.
He might be right, but do wearable computers really offer us a better option, or is Glass likely to be filed under ‘Massive Fail’ in the near future?