Integrates Augmented Reality Site With Print Campaign

  |  May 18, 2010   |  Comments

Site aims to drive bookings by offering 3D views of 10 U.S. cities.

A new augmented reality site from aims to drive bookings by offering 3D virtual views of 10 U.S. cities, supported by a print media buy.

Visitors to the site are greeted by a 3D model of "Smart," a claymation spokes-character that first appeared last year in television advertising for To experience the augmented reality experience, visitors use a sheet of paper with a marker - called a "glyph" - on it. They can hold the glyph up to their Webcams to display scenes from the cities and take part in local activities, from riding a mechanical bull in Denver to seeing fireworks explode in San Francisco.

"The goal was to distill each city into a couple of elements and allow visitors to zoom down to a micro-level of the city and interact with it," said Jason Zada, director of Tool, which produced the site in cooperation with agency Y&R/Chicago.

The site, conceived last year, also includes live feeds from and that offer real time information about the weather and ongoing events in the ten cities.

"Augmented reality is new for us, but it's part of an integrated campaign that's taking TV into the digital world with the familiar character who represents," said Vic Walia,'s senior director of brand marketing.

While TV ads do not mention, a series of print ads include the panel or glyph that is needed for users to unlock the AR content. Last Tuesday, an ad ran at the bottom of the front page of USA Today, and future ads will appear in consumer and tech publications including American Way, the American Airlines magazine, and Macworld.

Ken Erke, chief creative officer at Y&R/Chicago, said print is the best medium to support AR executions. "We're trying to remove the barriers to the experience," he said. "If a minor barrier is having to print the glyph why not put it in front of people to inspire them to take action?"

The campaign of which the AR site is a part started last year with a series of three TV ads starring Smart. made a large broadcast and cable buy on network news and late night shows, cable sports and travel channels. Radio and outdoor ads were also included.

The glyph can also be downloaded into smart phones to play the AR content. The smart phone application is mentioned in the print ads, but no mobile advertising has been used yet, Erke said. Likewise, did not buy any online advertising to promote the AR site.

Since the site just launched, there are no visitor numbers available. While responses from individual print ads can't be measured, plans to record site visits, time spent, number of cities viewed, number of e-cards sent, and the click-throughs those cards generate. It will also monitor social activity on Facebook and Twitter. The site will stay up as long as it's popular, Walia said.


COMMENTSCommenting policy

comments powered by Disqus

ClickZ Today is our #1 newsletter.
Get a daily dose of digital marketing.



Featured White Papers

US Consumer Device Preference Report

US Consumer Device Preference Report
Traditionally desktops have shown to convert better than mobile devices however, 2015 might be a tipping point for mobile conversions! Download this report to find why mobile users are more important then ever.

E-Commerce Customer Lifecycle

E-Commerce Customer Lifecycle
Have you ever wondered what factors influence online spending or why shoppers abandon their cart? This data-rich infogram offers actionable insight into creating a more seamless online shopping experience across the multiple devices consumers are using.




  • SEO Specialist
    SEO Specialist (Marcel Digital) - ChicagoSearch Engine Optimization (SEO) Specialist   Marcel Digital is an award winning digital marketing...
  • SEO / SEM Manager
    SEO / SEM Manager (CustomInk) - FairfaxAre you a friendly, motivated, and inquisitive individual? Are you a positive, out-going leader? Are you...
  • SEO Analyst
    SEO Analyst (XO Group) - New YorkSEO Analyst @ XO Group About this Job, You and Our Team: The XO Group SEO Team is looking for you, a passionate...