QR codes and augmented reality are hot commodities for mobile marketing, bridging the digital and analog worlds, pushing the edges, out-of-the-box, smart, crazy and fun. A few new mobile promotions that caught our attention:
Austrian crystal purveyor Swarovski is bringing the bling to Facebook with an app that delivers the digital Warholian promise of “15 amazing seconds of fame” by inviting users to submit personal dance videos modeling sunglasses for a chance to win one of 15 pairs of Swarovski Amazing sunglasses.
Bloomingdale’s new Big Brown Bag app (click here for Android) is a play on the store's "Big Brown Bag" bags, letting users create and manage wedding registries and Loyallist rewards points and pay their bill, find discounts and promotions and scan products in-store to view promotions and find other locations. “The launch of our mobile application for iPhone and Android is part of our commitment to enhancing our customer’s omnichannel shopping experience,” said Anne Bridges, SVP site merchandising, Internet productions and planning, to Mobile Commerce Daily. "We’re now inviting couples to use their phones – instead of a gun – to scan items to add to their registry."
McDonald's is expanding its recent mobile CRM test in Northern California to between 500 and 600 McDonald’s locations this summer. Using the Mowingo mobile app to notify customers about regional promotions and store-specific coupons embedded in the app along with the McDonald’s menu, the mobile promotion uses geo-fencing technology for passive check-ins. “If your consumers love the brand, this is a way for the brand to give the love back,” stated Mowingo CEO Daniel T. Dreymann. “Now they are starting to get data. They can see trends and can reward customers for their loyalty based on patterns of buying, which is something they could not do before.”
Penguin Books crosses the print media divide with Zappar App, an AR reality entertainment channel bringing four novels from the English Library to life. Download the free Zappar app, available on Android and iOS, select a novel such as Moby Dick or Great Expectations from the drop-down menu, point a smartphone camera at the cover and the interactive experience begins. Caspar Thykier, Zappar managing director, suggests publishers use the tech strategically: "It’s about exciting and surprising people with additional layers of content."
Nestlé Waters North America is promoting Resource, its new 100% natural spring water positioned as ‘holistic.’ Earlier this month, at The Grove in LA, an interactive installation called The Fountain of Electrolytenment drew 30,000 visitors who asked more than 17,000 questions enabled by AR with real-time answers that appeared on a scripted ‘sheet’ of water. Check it out above.
Nestlé Waters also partnered with gas station chain Kangaroo Express and Hipcricket to promote and distribute several brands via mobile including Arrowhead, Deer Park and Ice Mountain. The campaign combines QR codes, SMS and mobile Web sites as users compete for a chance to win a travel package worth $6,000 or gift cards through June 30. “Think about the target customers for this campaign—they’re on-the-go, grabbing water at a Kangaroo Express convenience store,” said Doug Stovall, svp sales and client services at Hipcricket, expanding on a mobile campaign for Arrowhead. “They’re likely making a snap decision about their drink of choice.”
BBC Home Entertainment partnered with Appshaker for its first USA AR experience: a mall tour supporting the Blu-ray/DVD Frozen Planet. Four 3D scenes let consumers place themselves inside the Polar Region interacting with the animals that live there. “This event acts as an organic cross between an art installation and advertising. With live streaming from each event, family and friends could share their experience around the world.”
Toys R Us ran a holiday 2011 QR campaign. Now it's promoting summer outdoor items in a sales event that highlights trampolines, pools, sandboxes, slides, clubhouses and picnic tables using QR codes so customers can visually experience those items in their own backyards while additional videos show kids playing with the summer toys. “With these QR codes, Toys R Us is providing customers with an engaging in-store experience that allows them to see these outdoor items, which are too large to display within our stores, in action,” commented spokesperson Meghan Kennedy.
And how's this for virtual place branding: “Monmouthpedia,” a project that debuted May 19th in Monmouth, Wales, is a virtual town that displays information and data via QR codes. Inspired by a challenge at TEDxBristol by John Cummings, a contributing Wikipedia editor, to “do a whole town,” residents spent six months coding people and destinations including writing 500 articles in 25 languages to support tourism. More than 1,000 QR codes were placed around town with links to the web. See more in the video below.