Top 10 Augmented Reality Campaigns of 2017 (Video)

Top 10 Best AR Campaigns 2017 GenWowAwards_2017Augmented reality-based marketing initiatives seem to have lost some altitude in 2017 compared to recent years—and that's probably a good thing.

Once a "me-too" phenomenon, a growing number of brands' AR initiatives have a solid reason for being or are exceptionally well-suited to the target audience.

Indeed, though it's often mistakenly called "virtual reality" (sorry folks, AR and VR are still two different things), the former is expected to eventually eclipse the latter because of an endless number of possible applications.

With AR viewers now available in the checkout line at even the smallest gas-'n-sip, perhaps they'll hit the 3.7 million units projected to be shipped in the next year.

Whatever the case, when brands do AR right, it can be a blast. Here's a look at some of our picks for the year's best (at least so far):

#10: 'Let's Be Evil'

Okay, we're cheating here—there's nothing AR about the experience. Instead, it's a movie featuring a dystopian vision for our AR-infused future. Here, it's all from the POV of "Glassholes." We have not yet seen the movie, but the trailer was too fun to leave off our list.

#9: John Lewis 2017 '#MozTheMonster' Holiday Filter

Longtime readers know John Lewis often makes our annual "Best of Lists." And they almost always involve the British retailer's integrated holiday campaigns, which are always crowd pleasers. This time out,  spots featuring Moz the Monster (#MozTheMonster") and are amplified by a soft Moz took, branded mugs, PJs, storybook downloads and a Facebook AR selfie filter (alas, described by at least one pub as a VR filter, which it is not).

#8: 'Ghostbusters: Dimensions' AR Game

It's hard to tell how much of this is just video or actual gameplay, but this promo from THE VOID and Sony Pictures looks like a lot of fun. A couple of key points: THE VOID develops experiences for certain venues. This was not a game you could download and play on your own. It also underscores the difference between AR and VR. Both WIRED and The New York Times referred to this game as being VR. From the promotional video at least, it appears to be AR-based, which helps explain how people move through it without the disorientation that often comes with VR-based experiences. For those new to this, AR layers digital elements on top of the real world, while VR immerses the user in a 100% digital world or experience.

#7: M&M's AR Billboards

To help promote the launch of M&M's new caramel flavor, the ever-popular Mars candy transformed a dozen billboards into an AR arcade that people could access via mobile phone. According to ADWEEK, it resulted in more than 466 million consumer impressions. 

#6: The Forestry Commission: 'Grufallo Spotter' AR App

Pokémon Go's got nothing on England's Forestry Commission. Its "Grufallo Spotter" AR app got kids to get excited about the great outdoors by getting them engaged with fun characters and activities based on the best-selling picture book. Check out a behind-the-scenes look, here and read more, here.

#5: Netflix Season Two 'Stranger Things' AR Experience and Filter

Readers may know that we're big fans of "Stranger Things" (Be sure to check out the latest "Rick & Rick" Podcast's season two recaps here). We're also fans of Snapchat (and more recently, Facebook) AR filters as promotional devices. So we were doubly pleased with Netflix's AR and VR-based filters for Snapchat. On the AR side, the filter applies Eleven's signature nosebleed to your face. Just don't raise your eyebrows—or you're thrown into the Upside Down. In the VR side, you're planted in Joyce Byer's season one living room, complete with creepy message lights.  

#4 Snatch: Life's for the Taking AR Treasure Hunt

It's like Pokémon GO—with beer. Earlier this year, Dutch beer brand Amstel teamed up with the mobile AR treasure hunt app known as Snatch to give away 10,000 free pints to people who "snatch" and hold onto their prizes for up to six hours. In addition to the free bear, there were also 20 bikes at stake, as well as three free trips to Amsterdam. But honestly, they had us at "AR" and "beer." But those other prizes work, too. 

#3: Beatie Wolfe—World's First AR-Based Live Streaming Music Event

First there were the NFC-enabled album covers you could tap with your mobile phone to bring up a website featuring one of her singles. This year, Beatie Wolfe launched an augmented reality-based live streaming experience to promote her latest album, Raw Space.

#2: Gorillaz Augmented Reality App

You gotta love this campaign, which was awarded the Gold Lion at Cannes this year. As you enter the app, it superimposes elements from the make-believe band's albums onto your real-world surroundings, acting as gateways to an immersive Gorillaz House in celebration of the group's return after a seven-year hiatus. The festivities included more than 500 geo-located "House Parties" that saw 125,000 fans in 146 countries search for AR Gorillaz houses in their markets to stream Gorillaz' new album, Humanz. Let's just say it was a bit of a success. Kudos to all involved.

#1: Honda: 'The Ultimate Get Well Card'

Hats off to Honda and agency RPA for this personalized AR experience for the Pediatric Brain Tumor Foundation at the Children's Hospital of Orange County. The idea: bring an augmented reality surprise to sick kids in hospitals over the holidays. Be proud, people—a touching and truly meaningful application of this technology.

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Rick & Rick: The Official 'Justice League' Review (Podcast)

Gathered together in the great Hall of the Justice League: Rick Mathieson & Rick Wootten.

Their mission: To right that which is wrong and to review the latest entry in the DCEU—the good, the bad and the WTF—for all mankind.

Let us know if you agree or disagree with our takes, and what you liked or didn't like about the new Zack Snyder/Joss Whedon superhero fest, "Justice League.' (Warning: Major spoilers ahead.)

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THE RICK & RICK REVIEW: 'JUSTICE LEAGUE'

 >> CLICK HERE TO LISTEN ON iTUNES <<

 (Approx. 20 min)

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Stop the Insanity: Peak Pumpkin Spice is Here (Podcast)

Rick & Rick—Peak Pumpkin Spice
What hath Starbucks spawned?

The ever-popular coffeehouse chain scores a seasonal hit with its Pumpkin Spice Lattes and now every brand and its mother has to have its own pumpkin spice something. Anything. It doesn't even seem to matter what it is.

Rick Mathieson and Rick Wootten aren't having any of it. And when they audit some of the ridiculous products brands are offering this year just to jump on the pumpkin spice bandwagon, you're not going to believe what they found. But fair warning: Its not for sensitive stomachs.

STOP THE INSANITY: PEAK PUMPKIN SPICE

>>Click to Listen to 'Rick & Rick—Peak Pumpkin Spice' on iTunes<<

 (Approx 4 min 25 sec)

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HP TV Spot Sparks Sentimentality—And Forgetfulness (Podcast)

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Rick & Rick talk about sentimental TV spots and it sparks a senior moment when they can't quite remember the name of a certain song from years gone by.

RICK & RICK CAN'T REMEMBER

>>CLICK HERE TO LISTEN ON ITUNES<<

(Approx. 3 min)

 

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Gearing Up for 'Stranger Things' Season 2 (Podcast)

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Winding down their conversation about the marketing for "It," Rick & Rick pivot to a show that's clearly influenced by Stephen King and 1980's horror movies: "Stranger Things," which returns to Netflix for its second season on October 27. Are you ready to return to the Upside Down?

RICK & RICK: "STRANGER THINGS" RETURNS

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 (Approx. 6 min, 41 sec)

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'PEAK MILLENNIAL' & THE 'FUR BABY' ECONOMY (PODCAST)

Pets

Ah, Millennials.

As Rick & Rick continue their rants, raves and ruminations on marketing, media and popular culture, they turn their attention to a recent ADWEEK article citing research that finds 44% of Millennials think of their pets as 'starter children.'

Anyone who's ever had a child knows just how naive that is, of course. But you can't fault younger Millennials for being clueless about something they haven't yet experienced. 

You can, however, fault self-styled marketing gurus who claim there's somehow some secret to marketing to this demographic that only they can reveal.

By now, most marketers understand that demographics are growing increasingly irrelevant. Technology now allows us to target the consumers most likely to purchase our products, regardless of superficial categorizations based on age.

As Fiona O'Donnell, Senior Lifestyle & Leisure for research firm Mintel once put it so well:

Companies or brands that successfully market to Millennials are ones that recognize that there is no such thing as a 'Millennial'—just individuals or groups of individuals who are at a similar life stage and have lived similar experiences. They want to be treated for who they are, rather than lumped together and labeled.

That's not to say those shared life experiences aren't important or leverageable. But ultimately, like all individuals, they want what they want, no matter their ages.

Of course, that doesn't mean Rick Mathieson and Rick Wootten aren't going to have a little fun at their (and the so-called gurus') expense.

The Ricktators sound off here:

RICK & RICK RULE THE WORLD: 'PEAK MILLENNIAL' & THE 'FUR BABY' ECONOMY

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(Approx. 5 min)

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Video Game Movies & Robot Buddhist Priests (Rick & Rick Podcast Ep 1/Pt 1)

 

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Welcome to 'Rick & Rick Rule the World!'

In this all-new Gen Wow iTunes podcast series, everybody's favorite Rickheads rant, rave and otherwise ruminate on whatever's hitting their Geeks-&-Mad Men radars these days.

Our Ricks include Rick Mathieson—writer, author and executive creative director at iMathieson, and Rick Wootten—vice president of marketing and sales operations at 24/7.

Their mission: To share a little of their ongoing stream-of-consciousness about all things cool in movies, TV shows, comics, video games, media, marketing and advertising. You name it, they've probably got something to say about it. Either way, it's going to be fun.

All the Ricksomeness starts here:

RICK & RICK RULE THE WORLD: VIDEO GAME MOVIES & ROBOT BUDDHIST PRIESTS (EP1/PT 1) ON ITUNES  (6 MIN)

 

 

 

 


AMEX Facebook Campaign Rewards Users for Watching Video (Video)

Sometimes it pays to listen.

At least, that was the case with this Facebook campaign promoting a Guns & Roses concert.

Knowing full well that 90 percent of Facebook users watch videos with audio turned off, AMEX snuck in a surprise. Those who activated audio got a surprise—a voice over that told them the first 50 to text in the name of the band's lead singer would win a free ticket to the concert.

How might your brand incentivize people to view your video advertising? —Rick Mathieson

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Sausage Party: The Dancing Hotdog Snapchat Filter (Video)

We didn't see the dancing hotdog on Snapchat until this last weekend, and we've been having fun with it ever since (see this YouTuber's video above to see what it looks like). Simple and subversive at the same time.

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'The Humanium Metal Initiative' Wins Innovation Grand Prix (Video)

Not exactly turning turning swords into plowshares, but perhaps it's even better.

The Humanium Initiative recycles metal from illegal weapons busts and forfeiting programs and then makes it available for commercial production by brands. As FastCompany reports, the idea is to make your products "a symbolic result of a less violent world."

Small wonder it won the Innovation Lions Grand Prix at this year's Cannes Lions Festival.

Kudos to all involved.

Learn more, here.

 

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