Adidas joins brands using augmented reality

29 January 2010

HERZOGENAURACH: Adidas, the sportswear giant, is the latest brand that is seeking to use "augmented reality" to connect with consumers.

The German firm has developed five new pairs of trainers, all of which form part of its Originals range, that have a special code embedded on their tongue.

When consumers hold these shoes up to a webcam, they will be redirected to a dedicated section of the company's website, the "Adidas Neighborhood", offering a wide variety of features.

Chris Barbour, head of digital marketing for Adidas Originals, said "the foundation of augmented reality lies in adding a layer to the real world."

"We have taken a real world item and added a fantastic virtual world on top of that."

Visitors will be able to travel around this "virtual world" – which will be formally launched next month – by tilting their trainer in different directions.

"We are not trying to mimic a real-world look, we have a more stylized, pop-up book creative approach," Barbour continued.

"The Neighborhood is displayed on a two-dimensional computer screen, but you can use your shoe to control the angle and depth of view and zoom in and out, giving a 3-D sense of perspective."

Xform, the games developer, is producing a number of games for this new offering, based around themes such as skateboarding, science fiction and music.

According to Adidas, this "exciting online experience" will contain other pieces of exclusive content, with the exact material users can access being dependent on the footwear they bought.

Prices for trainers equipped with the Adidas Originals Game Pack start at around $65 (€46; £40), rising to $95 at the high end.

As previously reported, advertisers including Coca-Cola and McDonald's have utilised augmented reality as part of their marketing strategies linked to the film Avatar.

Last year, Procter & Gamble, the FMCG titan, also launched a website rendering print ads for its Always feminine hygiene brand into three dimensions.

Data sourced from Brand Channel; additional content by Warc staff