P&G takes innovative approach

31 July 2009

CINCINATTI: Procter & Gamble, the FMCG giant, is using new technology, known as "augmented reality", which renders print ads for its Always brand in "three-dimensions" when they are held up to a computer webcam, as part of its effort to engage consumers across a number of different touchpoints.

The owner of Tide and Gillette recently launched a controversial digital campaign, entitled Zack 16, promoting its Tampax brand, and Marc Pritchard, its global marketing officer, has also spoken about his intention to place an increased emphasis on integration.

In this vein, the latest print executions run by the world's biggest advertiser for Always Infinity, part of its feminine care range, offer consumers the opportunity to take part in "their very own magic show".

To do so, customers have to visit a section of Always' website, and then lift the ad up in front of a web camera, when it effectively becomes "animated" on their PC, and displays certain features of the product depending on the angle at which the page is held.

It will run these ads in women's lifestyle titles including Seventeen, Star and Teen Vogue, and has also made them available on the brand's online portal, which features a wide range of further promotional material.

In a statement released to AgencySpy, the consumer goods titan said it "has long been known for elevating marketing to a science – today, it pulls science into marketing."

"The company remains at the helm of digital marketing with this campaign, which provides a new experiential interface to communicate in two-way dialogue with the consumer," it added.

Microsoft, the IT giant, is developing a similar system, under the title Project Natal, which uses a camera built into its Xbox console to sense the movement of users without the need for a controller.

Tests earlier this year showed a female consumer virtually "trying on" clothes, with the camera analysing her body shape and depicting how she would look in the garments on-screen, with the option to link to other users to ask their opinion.

General Electric has also used similar 3D technology as part of its Ecomagination campaign, including offering a "digital hologram" of its Smart Grid system.

As part of this process, consumers had to print out a "Solar Panel Marker" and hold it up to their webcam in a similar fashion to P&G's Always campaign, and were also able to "turn" wind turbines by blowing into their computer's microphones.

Data sourced from MediaPost/Agency Spy; additional content by WARC staff