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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.
With the advent of Ikea introducing an augmented reality (AR) app to enhance its 2014 catalogue, we are starting to see a gradual shift in how retailers can use the power of digital to improve the customer experience.
It seems as if augmented reality is no longer just for enhancing advertising campaigns, there are now many more practical applications of the technology.
Here we’ll look at the Ikea AR app, and then a general round-up of other companies making great strides in the realm of augmented reality.
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.
This is Sartre.
This is me scratching an itch.
Although there are plenty of statistics that suggest people have scanned QR codes out and about, used Blippar watching television and Aurasma whilst reading their sportsday match programmes, I’m a bit of a sceptic.
Virgin’s provision of free WiFi on the London Underground, the service notably being free to use on Vodafone and EE, has led many to ponder how this will impact on marketing and advertising in the subterranean rat race.
Some have claimed augmented reality (AR) will start to take off as the technology matures along with marketers, and there’s a signal to enable web content for QR codes/ RFID and the like.
However, unless scanning is heavily incentivised, I’m of the opinion there are at least five reasons why this isn’t going to be heavily adopted, and you can agree or disagree in our comments section below.
Mobile commerce has grown like no other form of retailing, and some retailers are even going that one step further to make buying via a smartphone or mobile a completely different experience.
In this post, I'll explore the ways in which m-commerce is making waves, and what 2013 holds in store.
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…
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.
Psychological horror film Citadel is letting fans view bespoke clips from the movie via an augmented reality enhanced poster.
Realise Digital collaborated with Sigma Films and Bl!nder Films to create buzz ahead of the premiere, which took place at the SXSW Film Festival in Texas this weekend.
Once you've installed Aurasma's app, simply point your mobile at the poster (which has been appearing around Austin) to reveal unique edits of scenes from the film.
Where previously, film posters have simply augmented trailer footage within offline film marketing, the Citadel poster is a bespoke edit designed specifically for the festival audience. Viewers are then invited to interact further via Facebook.