September 17, 2012 at 10:11 am by Ted Mininni
As with any new technology, marketers are grappling with the best way to use AR – augmented reality – to advantage. While it’s cool to point and click one’s Smartphone at a special code on consumer packaging for information, coupons or games, those initiatives don’t make the brand or product come alive.
That’s why Bandai’s toy packaging for its Thundercats and Ben 10 brands is so amazing. Kids, just like adults, are very visual. Through the use of AR technology, they’re letting kids see an animated 3D representation of the toy inside the package along with the marketing communication: “Try Me. Buy Me”. This approach is very smart. Most consumers would respond to the idea of actually engaging with the product before purchasing. For kids, it goes a long way to sealing the (purchase) deal.
Bandai is on to something important here. While using AR can be helpful to marketers in a number of applications, it seems to me that making the product come alive is one of the best ways to harness this technology. Given that its Thundercats brand has waned in generating kids’ interest, this is a clever way for Bandai to revitalize the brand. And we all know that innovations in package design can really help brands that have plateaued or experienced some decline in sales in a big way. In fact, I think package design like this has great potential for countless brands in a variety of categories.
It also occurs to me that, knowing how kids play, it’s likely that this kind of packaging can be as much fun to engage with as the actual toy. It may not be the best route to sustainability, but there’s a chance that kids might choose to keep this packaging, rather than throwing it away, so they can continue to enjoy the AR technology.
Then, there’s the social factor: how much buzz will kids generate among their peers for specific toy brands all because of their interactive packaging? Think about that.
I’d love to hear from you.
Categories:Package Design, Consumer Products, Entertainment, Marketing to Kids, Marketing Thought Leadership