Last spring, Walmart released its Avengers Augmented Reality App to tie in with the release of Marvel’s “The Avengers” movie. After downloading the app from iTunes or Android Market, consumers were able to use their smartphone to lock into signage scattered throughout the store, unlocking...
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Security issues aside, in the CPG market it’s the opportunity to engage with consumers that is generating excitement. The opportunities are nearly limitless, with new developments in conductive substrates and printed electronics technologies (such as OLED lighting, organic photovoltaic, etc.) along with the proliferation of smartphone devices.
According to Pew—more than half of the Americans who own a mobile phone have a smartphone; other industry consultants have that number as high as 78 percent.
No matter what type of high performance printing is deployed, the graphic reproduction of the markers for mobile is critical, says Twomey.
While QR codes are somewhat forgiving, brand managers are trying to make them smaller and smaller—the real estate on the packaged good is extremely valuable. The smaller the code, the more difficult it can be to reproduce, notes Twomey.
“You need to have fidelity; you need to make sure the scan actually works,” says Twomey. “When you add design into the QR code, you have to make sure you aren’t interfering with scanability of the code.”
SnapTags, similar to QR codes in functionality, use a 2D company logo or customizable icon instead of a code to drive the consumer to a Website or to unlock exclusive content and offers content. If a smartphone is used, the graphic is scanned; other mobile devices “snap” the logo with a camera phone to start the process.
SnapTags aren’t free; the company SpyderLynk will build a mobile marketing plan, including the SnapTag, for a cost. SnapTags are generating a lot of heat—in addition to their more crowd-pleasing graphics, the CPG company is able to tap into a lot of metrics relating to the consumer interaction with the SnapTag. Plus, to activate, the consumer’s mobile device doesn’t need to be a smartphone—widening the playing field.
Near Field Communication (NFC) is not new; every time you use your EZ Pass, you are engaging the technology. Off the highway, to activate a NFC promotion, the consumer needs a 4G phone with a NFC reader. It’s not print dependent; in fact, one of NFC’s more popular uses is in mobile payments. But it does hold some promise for increased use in CPG market, as NFC allows the consumer to access information with a simple tap or wave of the phone near a package.
Augmented reality is just in the beginning of its ascent. “This might be the ultimate in consumer engagement,” says Twomey. “Augmented reality engages the consumer at the point of sale, it has the unique and viral factor, and it enables content to be delivered without sacrificing package real estate.”
When the consumer buys a product with a trigger point for an augmented reality experience, the brand continues to interact with her even after she leaves the store. “It’s a great way to establish brand loyalty and engagement,“ says Twomey.
Nestlé Empowers Consumers with New Digital Labelling Scheme
Consumers in the United Kingdom will be the first to benefit from a new global initiative by Nestlé to give people instant access to information about the nutritional profile and environmental and social impacts of its products.
Anyone who buys a multi-pack of two-finger Kit Kat chocolate bars in the UK and Ireland will be able to find out more about what they are made of, how they fit into a balanced diet and lifestyle, and how they were produced, just by scanning the packaging with a smartphone.
The Kit Kat multi-packs will carry a Quick Response (QR) code that will take consumers to digital sites where they can find more detailed information about the product than would normally be available on a pack.
Nestlé plans to roll out the QR codes across its product portfolio in both emerging and developed markets to help people make more informed choices about what to purchase or consume.
Information at your fingertips
“We hope that consumers, wherever they are in the world, will use these QR codes to learn more about our products,” said Patrice Bula, Nestlé’s Head of Strategic Business Units, Marketing and Sales.
“We have a wealth of information about the nutritional value and the environmental and social impacts of what we produce, and it makes sense to share that with consumers.”
A QR code is a type of barcode which consists of small black blocks arranged in a square pattern against a white background.