Augmented Cheer: Bringing a Holiday Card to Life

Set to overtake virtual reality, augmented reality (AR) is the latest, high-impact technology in your content marketing toolkit.

If you’ve heard of Pokémon GO, you’ve heard of Augmented Reality, or AR. The market for AR products is expected to grow by over $130 billion US by 2021 – but how does catching imaginary animals in a nearby park translate into scalable, successful business outcomes?

As it turns out, AR’s capacity for storytelling, interactivity and making the complex understandable is extremely useful for achieving sales and marketing goals. Add in its accessibility: unlike virtual reality and its required headsets, AR content is viewed through smartphones and tablets, technology that most people already have at their fingertips.

It’s why we thought AR might be a novel approach to the MediaFace 2018 holiday card. We’re a storytelling company heavily invested in new technologies and the digital space, so how does an analog, printed-and-mailed greeting card with limited room for much more than our signatures say anything about what we do? Incorporating an augmented element to our season’s greetings showcased innovative storytelling and sent warm wishes to our clients and contacts at the same time.

Enter Sarah Senior, our aptly-named Senior Producer. She’d been picking away at AR technology and at a meeting brainstorming its applications, we conceived the idea of an AR holiday card. Sarah’s pitches for the card ranged from interactive music-making to a sock-umentary, but the MediaFace team fell in love with her story about Maple, a squirrel who sees fit to feed a hungry neighbouring bear. The icing on the acorn: the idea to donate to a local charity for every view of our AR story.

 

The video, pop-up bio and social features in our card just scratch the surface of what’s possible with AR. Imagine a development company able to tour the inside of a building to prospective buyers years before its built, or a bank showing how an investment account earns year-over-year with an interactive graph. By leveraging some of the content your company is likely already creating – video, 3D animation, web applications – AR experiences make viewers active participants in your message.

Because consumers have so much more choice with AR, they can more personally relate to your products. It might be why conversion rates for AR campaigns can be huge: one such experience that allowed viewers to “try on” L’Oreal makeup in augmented reality reported an 80 per cent conversion rate to buy.

We think the best principle of AR is show, not tell, so we’ll leave you with our holiday card. By viewing our card, we’ll donate $1 to Toronto’s Daily Bread Food Bank (to a maximum of $1,000).

As you may have guessed, this is no ordinary holiday card – it comes to life with a little digital magic. Here’s how to view it:

  1. Download the free Zappar app at zappar.com/getzappar
  2. Open the app
  3. Hold your device over the above image
  4. And turn up your volume for full holiday cheer!

Happy holidays, and best wishes for an augmented 2019!

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