Blippar, the mobile augmented reality app, is being used by Waitrose for its ‘School of Christmas Magic’ campaign. 

Ambarish Mitra, co-founder and CEO of Blippar, told us that the retailer’s ‘pause and blipp’ concept first aired during The X Factor and Downton Abbey this past Sunday.

The 90-second commercial features Heston Blumenthal and Delia Smith in a setting reminiscent of Harry Potter’s Hogwarts School, and after the last scene viewers are urged to ‘pause and blipp’.

Those with the app can then point their camera at the screen to access exclusive content, including a cake decorating masterclass and interview with Blumenthal.

This is expected to be the world’s first multichannel AR campaign to straddle both television and press ads. 

As we first covered back in May, Blippar creates ‘blippable’ content for users that have previously downloaded the iPhone or Android apps. Unlike QR codes, the entire advert is the response mechanism – so simply pointing your phone the general direction of the ad works. 

The concept was used first by Tesco in September, followed shortly by Cadbury’s, Eurostar, Samsung and then Heinz. The latter partnership allowed people to ‘unlock’ a recipe booklet for dishes containing tomato ketchup. This could then downloaded as a PDF, or clicked on to link to video clips on the product’s Facebook page.

The uptake of Blippar by consumer brands is no surprise, since Mitra says that one third of all uses are ‘on pack’. Advertising accounts for the majority of other uses, with 60% of the remaining ‘blipps’ stemming from ads that promote the likes of Jurassic Park, Jack Daniels, Tesco, Air Lingus and Xbox.

Mitra told us that this doesn’t appear to be a one-trick pony either, since 95% of Blippar users ‘blipp’ more than once and the company sees an average of seven ‘blipps’ per user within the first seven weeks of operation.