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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?
Guess Watches took its first foray into mobile marketing today by launching a new iPhone app in the UK.
The app allows users to access details of the latest collections, promotions, news and exclusive special offers. It also includes a store finder and both QR and augmented reality (AR) scanners.
As with the L’Oreal app, Guess is using mobile to try and drive shoppers in-store rather than giving them a new way to purchase goods on their smartphone.
Though some of the features aren’t yet live, I tried it out to see how it stacks up...
Augmented reality is becoming a common feature in marketing campaigns, yet there’s little evidence to suggest that it is catching on with consumers.
AR app Aurasma is making a huge effort to build awareness of the technology, and now works with more than 5,000 partners ranging from advertisers to schools.
One of its most successful partnerships is with Top Gear Magazine, which now embeds digital content in every monthly issue.
It has also worked with Universal to promote the new Jurassic Park DVD, and David Cameron is even said to have the app on his smartphone.
To find out more about how AR works, I spoke to head of partnerships and innovation Matt Mills…
As the name suggests, Econsultancy’s Future of Digital Marketing conference is about looking ahead to emerging trends and technologies.
In a talk about changes to interactive experiences, Foolproof founding partner Tom Wood looked at four technologies that are becoming more common in marketing campaigns, and whether they are likely to be around in the long term.
Mexican restaurant chain Chiquito and cider brand Bulmers have become the latest brands to launch augmented reality (AR) marketing campaigns.
AR marketing is fast becoming a common marketing tool, and last month we highlighted seven clever uses of the technology, but Chiquito is one of the first examples we’ve seen of an AR game aimed at children.
Placemats at the restaurant chain contain a kids’ food menu and a video game that can be accessed using AR app Blippar.
In the game creatures emerge from the placemat and the player has one minute to hit as many as they can.
Augmented reality ads are slowly making their way into the mainstream, with more and more brands using the technology to engage consumers with hidden digital content.
However, while marketers are all too keen to trumpet their AR trials, stats around consumer engagement are like hens' teeth.
But following on from our post highlighting six successful uses of QR codes, we have found one or two examples of successful AR campaigns.
The Guardian ran its first augmented reality (AR) print ad on Saturday featuring an embedded competition and video content to promote its iPad edition.
Readers were able to access the digital content using AR app Blippar.
If using an iPad, the ads also linked the user directly to the App Store so they could download The Guardian iPad edition.