And unlike virtual reality, with which it’s often lumped together, basic AR experiences (Google Glass aside) don’t necessarily require any additional hardware or gizmo, whether a $600 headset à la Oculus Rift or one made of cardboard. AR generally works through the phone.
But augmented reality has long been a “solution desperately searching for a problem to solve,” admitted Caspar Thykier, CEO of Zappar, the augmented reality platform Rovio is using to power its movie marketing push, and as a result, AR has been languishing in agency innovation investment limbo for some time.
“AR started to get interesting when it moved to mobile, but when technology goes from enterprise to consumer, it often gets caught in the agency trap of ticking the innovation box,” Thykier said. “It’s used for one marketing execution and that’s it. However, we’re starting to see businesses include it as part of their digital and mobile strategy.”
Rovio has a number of real KPIs for its campaign, including in-game user retention tied to in-store activity, in-store sales tied back to the BirdCodes and, naturally, movie ticket sales.
In the coming weeks, it’s also planning to benchmark and measure sell-through of BirdCoded items at participating retailers compared to products without codes and to retail partners who aren’t part of the initiative, so it can tweak its promotional plan accordingly.
“But the proof, of course, will lie in the pudding,” Lambeek said. “We’ll learn a lot over the next couple of months and we’ll see what we can improve.”
Rovio’s various “Angry Birds” games have been downloaded more than 3 billion times since the first “Angry Bird” title hit in 2009. The company declined to specify the number of monthly active users.