Monday, December 30, 2013

Augmenting Reality


      by Greg Kishbaugh

     We live in a world of massive technological change. The gadgets we take for granted in our everyday lives would, just a generation ago, have been considered science fiction.
     And increasingly CPGs and retailers are turning to technology to increase awareness of their brands, educate consumers about their products and to connect with their customers.
     Augmented Reality (AR) has been around for a number of years, but the depths to which it can be used to educate (and entertain) consumers is still in its infancy.
     McDonald’s has launched a new AR app called McMission that educates McDonald’s in-store customers and mobile users on the company’s commitment to sustainability.

     The company launched it in tandem with its  third Corporate Responsibility Report. The app features interactive mini-games that teach visitors about the societal and environmental initiatives the company and its franchisees are involved. The app can be launched by scanning the packaging on a number of the company’s products.
     “With McMission we want to bring our guests closer though playful central aspects of sustainability,” said Philipp Wachholz, Director of Corporate Affairs at McDonald’s Germany. “We have chosen Augmented Reality as a technology because it brings together the real restaurant experience with fascinating virtual animation.”
     The app consists of missions that teach users about renewable energy, recycling, the origins of packaging and waste disposal.
Naturally, through the integration of social media, guests can share game achievements via Facebook, Twitter and Google Plus.
     As consumers (particularly young consumers) rely more and more heavily on technology, progressive companies will be well served to pay close attention to the ways in which to turn an increasingly digital world to their favor.

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