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"Augmented reality" attracts big advertisers
have joined a growing number of major advertisers that are using "augmented reality" in an effort to engage consumers with their marketing efforts.
The technology behind augmented reality effectively allows people to view print, online and other similar content in three dimensions via a PC webcam or smartphones like
predict the value of this market will rise from $6 million (€4.0m; £3.6m) in 2008 to $350m in 2014, with around half of this figure being generated by mobile ads.
Procter & Gamble
, the FMCG giant, has already employed this approach in a campaign for
, its feminine hygiene brand.
Coca-Cola and McDonald's have now both forged alliances with
, the movie studio, to promote
, the 3-D movie to be released in December, through this emerging platform.
In support of this initiative,
has developed a dedicated website in partnership with
Twentieth Century Fox
This largely unbranded portal will enable netizens to use special Coke Zero packaging, ranging from cans to popcorn bags, to view AR material once they have downloaded an online application.
, worldwide entertainment marketing director for Coke Zero, said "we wanted to step outside our comfort zone. In putting together the movie marketing program, we looked at a number of different technology elements."
"Augmented reality is something a lot of companies are playing around with right now, and we haven't," he added.
"There's a rich opportunity to customize content, promotions and marketing. And by customizing messages and providing different messages, we'll be able to tie it into actual business results."
Coke Zero hopes this initiative will particularly appeal to 18–24 year old men, which is the core demographic targeted by the sugar-free brand.
In a similar tie-up with the pioneering film, McDonald's has built a new section of its online hub, aimed at young adults, based around AR.
Moreover, it has developed a game, called
Pandora's Quest –
which will form part of its virtual world,
that requires a webcam to play, and is intended for a younger audience.
LG Electronics will also run print executions in
magazines in the UK, advertising both
and its new
Readers of these two titles will be able to access a special, three-dimensional trailer for the movie by visiting one of two specific websites.
Earlier this year,
, the technology and energy company, partnered with
magazine to produce a front cover featuring three windmills that "climbed" off the page.
, the automaker, took a rather different route, adding an AR game to
to champion its new
model, with the objective of dropping hamsters into the car with a "virtual magnet".
In the FMCG sector,
has launched a three dimensional game for
has broadcast concerts from artists like Blink 182 and Big Boi in such a way.
also "animated" its 2009 baseball cards with augmented reality software, with the players featured "pitching", "fielding" and "batting" as a result.
Data sourced from AdAge, Brand Republic, Smart Technology; additional content by Warc staff, 23 November 2009
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