AIPIA Summit Americas preview

Zappar & Mindshare look at the future of AR and its implications for brands

By Jenny Eagle

- Last updated on GMT

Zappar has worked with Bombay Sapphire. Photo: Zappar YouTube.
Zappar has worked with Bombay Sapphire. Photo: Zappar YouTube.
Zappar has released a report in partnership with Mindshare UK, looking at the future of AR (Augmented Reality) and the implications for brands.

The report found​ over half (55%) of smartphone users agree ‘it would be a good thing if you could point your phone at any object and get additional information’, emphasizing that brands should be thinking differently about their owned channels (anything under a company’s direct control).

Simple activation

Speaking to Keith Curtin, VP, business development, Zappar, he said, by adding extra layers of digital content to their owned assets, brands can transform their packaging from a passive touchpoint into a fully immersive media channel.

For businesses new to augmented reality, our advice is to start with a simple activation​,” he said.

For example, product packaging for food brands can surface recipes, food preparation tips, nutritional information, coupons, and related brand promotions and offers​.

The best bit is that these interactions can be captured and tracked so companies can better understand usage habits among audiences for future product and marketing decisions.

We’re not seeing manufacturers doing anything wrong, they simply need to dive in and start testing​.”

Curtin will be heading up a discussion at the AIPIA Summit (Active & Intelligent Packaging Industry Association) at the Westin, New Jersey, US, June 4 and 5, entitled: How brands are using Augmented Reality to make their packaging interactive (June 4, 11:30am - 12:00pm).

He will be using case studies from various industries to showcase how brands are using AR and the benefits they are reaping in terms of increased consumer engagement as a result.

Shazam, PEZ

Zappar founded in 2011 claims it is ‘on a mission to democratize Augmented Reality’, with clients including Rovio, Shazam​, Warner Bros, Hasbro, PEZ and Universal Pictures to produce customizable bite-sized entertainment. 

The Zappar toolkit is made up of its proprietary zapcode (similar to QR codes 2.0); ZapWorks content authoring and publishing platform; app embed component and APIs; Zap-alytics data dashboard; and ZapBox Mixed Reality kit. 

It now has offices in London, England (HQ) and San Francisco, US and Sydney, Australia. 

Case studies include teaming up with Shazam and Bombay Sapphire to create an AR experience for Bombay Sapphire customers using the bottleneck label as the activation point. 

Bombay Sapphire users scanned the label to reveal an immersive animation, representing the essence and character of Bombay Sapphire in AR. Customers could then watch exclusive video content, showcasing different cocktail recipes.

Angry Birds maker Rovio partnered with Zappar​ to release a billion “BirdCodes” through various consumer products and brand promotions, including PEZ dispensers. Users unlocked an AR mini-game and posed for photos with their favourite Angry Bird character. 

Bulmers & Crown

Cider brand Bulmers launched a challenging soccer game tracked to a beer mat using Zappar’s AR technology to target consumers during “solo moments” in bars and it has worked with Crown to create codes that can be variably printed and placed under the ring pull of cans - delivering a range of content and experiences to consumers. 

With seven years of real-world experience working with some of the biggest brands, packaging companies and retailers across the world, we have a great deal of expertise and experience in the space​,” added Curtin. 

In this time we’ve been able to gather insights and empirical data on how best to build and deploy computer vision and AR for the best results, which helps us stand out from the competition.​” 

The company continues to work with brands and businesses across the product and packaging supply chain to fully understand how best to deliver an end-to-end process. 

This can include anything from working within inline print production methodologies and at line speeds for code printing; understanding product design workflows through the product and packaging design phase; delivering an interface for simple, affordable delivery of content and give real-time data analytics on a serialized basis. 

With us there is a big focus on the quality of the content that is served to end users, as at the end of the day if there isn’t a payoff for the consumer they won’t be coming back,​” added Curtin.

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