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branding, creativity, innovation, media, publicity stunt, retail, technology, viral marketing, Word of mouth

How augmented reality and QR are changing retail and advertising

Augmented reality (AR) is a term for a live direct or indirect view of a physical real-world environment whose elements are augmented by virtual computer-generated imagery.

Tissot recently setup a simplistic window display at Selfridge’s in London. Passers-by were invited to wear paper watches and then taken to a plasma screen in the shop window. When they held their ‘watch’ up to a webcam, a Tissot watch was superimposed onto the paper watch on the screen. Amazed consumers could then choose which watch to wear and what colour they preferred. I see this as a step in the right direction for retail. The emphasis switches from transactional to experiential and increases the likelihood of brand loyalty.

Here is Forever 21’s Times Square interactive billboard in New York. This could have been executed better (the crowd in the photos could have been clearer) but this is certainly a great concept and just imagine how this technique could be implemented.

This is the teaser ad for Adidas Originals. The concept here is that you hold your new shoe up to your computer monitor and a new world appears on the screen. You can play games and share with friends.

Here’s how Olympus are using AR. They use the medium perfectly in my opinion and make it really interactive and relevant to their product.

QR is a matrix code (or two-dimensional bar code) created by Japanese corporation Denso-Wave in 1994. The “QR” is derived from “Quick Response”, as the creator intended the code to allow its contents to be decoded at high speed.

For the release of 28 Weeks Later on DVD, a giant QR code was used here in London to promote the film.

Calvin Klein scrapped their underwear adorning twenty-somethings in favour of a giant QR code. When scanned this links to an exclusive, 40-second commercial.

I still think that companies should be more creative with their use of QR advertising and embed them within a design. This would mean that people could be wearing a t-shirt and allow their friends to find the link by pointing their smart phone at them.

Have you experienced AR and/or QR?
What are your thoughts?
How would you like to see AR/QR being used?
What do you see as being the next technological advancement in retail/advertising?


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About David Lowe

Founder / editor at Origin of Cool (www.originofcool.com) and World Sport Bloopers (http://www.worldsportbloopers.com). Talk to me about building online communities, social media, online advertising and cool stuff. Love ping pong!


2 thoughts on “How augmented reality and QR are changing retail and advertising

  1. I saw the Forever 21 project in Times Square, it got my attention… I see blending the 3D street painting (live chalk art) art into AR and/or QR for more peole to see in more innovative ways. We have the art and the ideas… Good luck for all positive applications of the new technologies…

    Posted by Anthony Cappetto | July 26, 2010, 14:08
  2. Anthony – I like what you’re doing with Madonnari – we used to see this more of this in London but it seems to have disappeared. I think your suggestion of pavement/sidewalk art combined with AR/QR is an exciting one. If you experiment with this, please send me a video and I will post it on the blog. Btw, do you have any partners/locations in the UK?

    Posted by sneezyhead | July 26, 2010, 14:43

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