We’re all aware of the Pokémon Go phenomenon and how rapidly it has been embraced globally, becoming the app that people are spending more time on than any other, including the previous favourite, Facebook. Users enjoy the individual experience this Augmented Reality (AR) gaming experience brings to them, based on their location, which shows that brands that interact with real consumers in their real lives will win in the battle for their attention, over those that stick to traditional, tightly controlled advertising messages.
Pokémon Go cleverly uses AR to bring digital characters into the real world via a device, like a smartphone. Having, myself, promoted AR to brands for the past couple of years, I think a key technical breakthrough towards its success is that it doesn’t rely on a tracking marker, (a printed image which you point your device at to activate the content), to do this. Instead, it reads your GPS, knows where you are and allows you to interact with items based on your precise location.
Talking at the Mobile Cannes Lions Judging last month, Milton Elias, Head of Mobile & Tech Futures at OMD UK said that communication via the use of mobile and location can really be targeted and personalised in ways that other channels don’t allow.
How can brands use such location based, targeted messaging to drive sales? One excellent example is an AR app that my company, Happy Finish, recently created for FIFA’s World Football Museum in Zurich, Switzerland, which opened in early 2016 to celebrate the rich heritage of football and to show how the game continues to connect and inspire the world.
GMR came to us looking for a partner to create augmented reality (AR) components for an application that brings to life multiple exhibits within the museum. The app provides a richer visitor experience by infusing technology into the museums hero attractions. We worked very closely with LabWerks, the iBeacon technology experts based in Amsterdam, to integrate our AR components into the native android and iOS apps they built. The app incorporated bluetooth low energy beacon technology allowing us to target content to visitors based on their exact location in the museum.
A fun, key feature of the FIFA World Football Museum app, which employs Pokemon Go like functionality, is the Football Treasure Hunt, which challenges the user to collect 10 items of treasure on their visit through the museum. As the do, each item fills in a jigsaw like puzzle in a virtual ball graphic, (pictured above).
I’ve recently been doing a great deal of travel abroad, to speak at industry events, and have seen my fair share of Duty Free shops in airports. They’re vast, housing numerous retail concessions in a large area. Brands looking to maximise sales in these areas should learn from the examples shown by Pokemon Go and FIFA and use iBeacons and Apps to bring personalised messages to potential consumers. For example, if I’m standing, (as I have done many times), in a Bobbi Brown make-up concession, wondering what on earth to buy for my wife as a small gift, I’d be very happy, (grateful even!) if Bobbi could come to my rescue, suddenly popping up on my phone with a video message saying, “Hi, I hope you’re enjoying our concession at Heathrow’s Terminal 5. Looking to treat yourself, or perhaps a gift for someone special? Select a look from the range shown here, (various thumbnails appear), and I’ll show you which products….”. If pushed, I might even admit that I was helped in choosing the perfect gift!
If you’re a brand wanting to find out more, please feel free to contact me on Twitter @sigosling