Christmas went AR: How retailers took our favorite holiday to a new dimension
The end of the year is a golden time for retailers in most parts of the world. No wonder they regularly try to bring more and more excitement into holiday shopping, like with technological innovations such as augmented reality (AR). Let’s take a look at some of these fun, almost “magical” activities with which brands entertained their audiences this year.
Vintage Coke transformation
Using the Coca-Cola app, users could scan the holiday-themed cans and unveil an extra layer of content: AR scenes themed around the famous Coca-Cola polar bears from an iconic 1993 commercial called “Northern Lights”. The scenarios included snowball fights, light shows and, if you scanned two cans together, a version of “Jingle Bells” that played on glass bottles. Nostalgic and strategic!
Have yourself a little Santa
Google turned the exciting pre-Christmas time into a game. Well, dozens of games. A dedicated website was created to captivate kids and even adults with interactive elves, deer and other Christmas creatures. One of these features was particularly interesting: The ability to take your very own cartoon Santa home. All you needed was a magic wand smartphone and a special link to take you to an AR space. The moment you entered the space, you would see a simple but adorable animated Santa which you could place anywhere in your room. The power of imagination!.
Christmas fun in the grocery aisle
In order to take part in a big Christmas AR activity created by Walmart, you had to visit one of the chain’s actual stores. Exclusive experiences were available in 1000 Walmart locations. Shoppers were invited to scan codes via the Walmart app in order to access highly shareable AR content. This included a Santa Sleigh Ride across the store, festive face filters, Christmas-themed 3D animations and winter games like hurling snowballs at Chester the Cheetah or chasing the Paw Patrol pups with your trolley. The engaging content was such a success that customers happily posted photos and videos of the fun on social media.
Starbucks cup with a twist
We all know Starbucks as one of the top players in its field. That’s why adopting new technologies is just a natural step for the company. This winter, Starbucks presented four limited edition cup designs, which not only looked cute but also held a special secret. Each cup contained its own AR effect, made available through the Instagram app. By pointing the camera at one of the holiday cups, you could choose from a number of AR effects to spark your Christmas mood. Sharing Starbucks cups on social media has long become a tradition, so the new “live” design was a guaranteed success.