blippar, a free smartphone app that converts real world images, products and adverts into instantaneous virtual experiences, has launched, in partnership with Cadbury UK and Ireland.
Cadbury has used the app to create an Augmented Reality (AR) game that anyone with a smartphone can play. With blippar installed on your handset, you point your device at one of several Cadbury products, including Dairy Milk and Twirl among others, and the introductory instruction screen of ‘Qwak Smack’ appears on your screen as if stuck to the bar.
The game lasts 30 seconds, and challenges players to tap quacking cartoon ducks as they appear ‘out of the bar’ on an augmented-overlay on their device’s screen. The player can then submit their score to go into to a draw to win an array of prizes.
"We loved blippar from the moment we saw it in action,” says Sonia Carter, head of digital at Kraft Foods. “We were blown away by the technology, and we’re certain consumers will be. With one in three UK adults owning a smartphone, the potential market for initiatives like this is huge, and we are proud to be bringing this incredible technology to the masses. It doesn’t seem all that long ago we were all marvelling at what QR codes could do, but blippar’s markerless image recognition technology takes the experience to a whole new level.”
blippar CEO and co-founder, Ambarish Mitra says: “Image-recognition enabled Augmented Reality is far from a gimmick, and will fundamentally change how consumers interact with their favourite real-world brands. blippar has been built to bridge the gap from physical to digital and enable real-time interaction in mobile situations.”
Mitra adds that the blippar platform will also offer ‘blipps’ on everyday objects, from Oyster cards through to newspapers, and is set to grow to thousands of listings via multiple brand partnerships in the pipeline.
David Murphy writes:
For a long time now, Augmented Reality has looked like a technology looking for an application. For the past 12 months, it has looked increasingly like a location-based services adjunct, showing mobile users what’s going on around them, simply by holding their phone up and firing up the app.
Other applications for the technology will doubtless emerge, but today’s launch of blippar, turning Cadbury chocolate bars into interactive games, looks to me like a key moment. For the past few years, the big FMCG companies such as Unilever, Procter & Gamble, and Kraft Foods, which owns Cadbury, have been experimenting with mobile, working out what works, what doesn’t, and what might. Unilever, in particular, has become a vocal advocate for the channel.
The idea of using Augmented Reality to engage with consumers through product packaging looks to me like one that could catch on like wildfire among brands, if consumers show any enthusiasm for it. The key will be in the execution. If blippar and other AR providers can prove that the technology is truly more than a gimmick through some truly original and engaging executions, they could be on to something. Other brands will be watching Cadbury’s initiative closely.