Experiential Marketing


AR “Museum in your Palm” Exhibition

Prehistoric dinosaurs and fossils come to life through the museum AR experience! An integrated indoor positioning navigation system for a seamless museum exploration. 

Press conference for the launch of the “Museum in your Palm” AR exhibition at Taiwan National Museum
(Press conference for the launch of the “Museum in your Palm” AR exhibition at Taiwan National Museum)

Our previous article, Augmented Reality – Revolutionising the Museum Guided Tour Experience gave an introduction on how AR technology is integrated into museum exhibits to create a more in-depth, two-way communication with the general public. This concept may seem similar to the Night at the Museum movie, where the exhibits come to life and interact with the protagonist in the movie. Except in our case, we view these exhibits through AR lenses. 

Arplanet Taiwan worked with Taiwan National Museum to launch the “Museum in your Palm” AR exhibition, integrating AR with advanced indoors navigation and positioning technology that allows visitors to easily explore the museum and its exhibitions in all its “resurrected” glory. Through the integration of these two technologies, visitors can easily interact with these otherwise static exhibitions, generating more awareness and interest, opening new doors for the popularisation of science and education. This event was supported by the Taiwan Ministry of Economics Affairs (MOEA) Industrial Development Bureau, with aims of further promoting the development of Taiwan’s AR industry.

Taiwan National Museum AR Exhibition Experience

The reconstruction of dinosaur fossils found along Yellow River, as seen through the marq+ AR app
(The reconstruction of dinosaur fossils found along Yellow River, as seen through the marq+ AR app)

The “Museum in your Palm” is a fun and informative way to guide visitors to explore the museum, allowing visitors to have a glimpse into what these extinct beings looked like while they were roaming the earth, and interact with them to learn more. The museum includes 10 Location Based Service (LBS) points outside the museum, 40 AR indoor positioning points, 18 restoration of fossil exhibits, and the restoration of 2 scenes from the Age of Reptiles (also known as the Mesozoic era), with plans to further expand into different topics and areas for subsequent launch phases. 

VIPs watching the reconstruction of the Yellow River dinosaur fossils through AR app marq+
(VIPs watching the reconstruction of the Yellow River dinosaur fossils through AR app marq+)

CEO of Arplanet Taiwan, Jennifer Pai said that Arplanet first obtained the indoors AR navigation & positioning patent in 2018. After spending two years on further R&D to improve the patent, as well as to find suitable industries for application, finally applying this technology in the Taiwan National Museum exhibition, as it provides information and education while simultaneously providing entertainment values. Furthermore, this tour integrates AR indoor positioning technology within Arplanet’s custom AR platform marq+, allowing visitors to enter the museum and easily access the AR experience using their smartphones or tablets, making AR more accessible in our daily lives. With the continual development of AR technology, we foresee that AR will inevitably become incorporated into many more sectors in the near future, providing the general public with a rich and vivid interactive exhibition experience.

Indoors AR Navigation – What is it exactly?

The “Museum in your Palm” exhibition marks the first time that indoors AR navigation is used in museums in Taiwan. Why are we using indoors AR navigation instead of GPS positioning, you ask? The main reason is due to signal and accuracy issues. GPS uses satellite signals for positioning, and the reception indoors is considerably weaker, resulting in a less accurate positioning. The ideal use scenario for GPS is for outdoors positioning, especially in a wide and unobstructed environment.

Using indoors AR navigation and positioning, it is important to get an accurate measurement of the physical location, so that we can create a virtual map of the location. Through Simultaneous Localisation and Mapping (SLAM) technology, the device detects and recognises the different exhibitions and location markers in the environment through the camera lenses, and superimposes each path point, creating an accurate map which can be effectively utilised indoors, as well as outdoors.

AR Museums – How they benefit the education industry


According to Hong Shiyou, director of Taiwan National Museum, the museum harnesses the power of science and technology to create an immersive environment, providing the general public with a multi-sensory interactive exploration experience that promotes independent learning. The main purpose of this is to bring in more visitors, allowing them to interact more closely with the museum exhibits to obtain a more in-depth knowledge and understanding of these exhibits. This indoors AR navigation system is introduced to adapt to the changing trends of visiting museums. With the integration of advanced AR technology with the more traditional museum curation, this special exhibit brings forth a revival of historic fossils from times long past. Not only does this provide a simple solution to navigating across the different museum exhibits, but also creates an innovative and unforgettable museum experience that transcends time.

The Museum in Your Palm exhibition at the Taiwan National Museum appointed Arplanet Taiwan as the technical specialist. With over 10 years of commitment in the development of AR technology, the team at Arplanet hope that through this demonstration of AR in museums, we can further help schools, education sectors, family education, and other similar industries to streamline education using AR. There are also many opportunities in incorporating AR into interactive exhibitions to strengthen learning and continuously inject new life into the development of museums. 

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AR Shopping – The Digital Transformation of Retail in 2020

A streamlined, comprehensive shopping experience is important, especially during this Age of Technology

Daniel Newman talked about the Top 5 Digital Transformation Trends In Retail For 2020 in Forbes, and elaborating on the importance of augmented reality, ease of purchase, ease of information retrieval, social shopping, and giving consumers an immersive shopping experience with the integration of the virtual and real world. In this article, we focus on the importance of the AR shopping experience and explore how it is changing retail as we know.

In this current technological era, many corporate brands are starting to integrate their online and offline businesses. Through the shaping of these experiential marketing, allowing consumers to “feel” the products as if they are shopping physically, being with the consumers during their whole shopping journey, strengthening corporate brand values, and creating a better consumer experience is something that all brands need to look into.

AR for Retail | How did AR become a turning point for the retail industry?

AR technology is advantageous in its ability to allow ease of visualisation. This refers to the various visual effects that superimpose virtual objects and information in the real world surrounding us. The virtual components on the screen of our mobile devices or tablets are integrated into the real world, showing us information such as instruction operations, and allowing for dynamic interactions with these virtual objects. We previously talked about how AR is integrated in various industries, such as: advertising, marketing, art, events, commercial, navigation, and many others, with many successful cases showing how these technologies have been successfully incorporated in the market. The applications are diverse, and the possibilities are endless. The overall industry is booming, and it doesn’t seem to be stopping anytime soon. More so now, where consumers are putting more emphasis on the retail experience, in addition to the quality of products and the marketing. AR is especially effective in creating a memorable shopping experience.

AR allows consumers to more effectively understand the products. Companies such as Target, Lowe’s, and Amazon, have found that AR technology can reduce the number of consumer returns for online purchases, which greatly helps in sales. Interactions Consumer Experience Marketing who specialise in retail research have noted in their 2016 article, that 77% of consumers want to see different product features such as colour, material, or style, through AR; 65% of consumers want to obtain product information using AR; 55% of consumers think that AR makes the shopping experience fun and memorable.

(Image Source: Interactions Consumer Experience Marketing)

AR for Retail | How do retail brands get into the AR experience

According to Gartner, there will be 100 million consumers using AR for both online and offline shopping by 2020. When thinking of how to design an AR experience, retail brands should fully consider factors from the consumers’ perceptions, to them exploring different products, to choosing a product, then making the purchase, and even cater for factors such as after-sales services, advertising and marketing, as well as repurchasing. The entire shopping experience may range from person to person, therefore it is important to consider an experience that can cater to the general public.

Presently, the retail industry sees more AR use in two main sectors, namely: products applications, as well as marketing and advertising. Retail brands and retailers rely on the addition of AR to create a more immersive shopping experience, enhanced by the wonders of AR technology.

1. Advertising and Marketing: Attracting consumers’ interest

With the rise of the new age of retail, comes changes in the consumers’ shopping behaviours. Many online retailers nowadays have been looking into opening physical stores. Physical stores, contrary to popular beliefs, should not be considered as competitors of online stores. They are important in the transformation of the digital age of retail, using physical stores to add another layer of experience, providing a unique shopping trip for the consumers.

In February 2019, Nike collaborated with Snapchat to create a unique AR experience for their consumers at The Foot Locker store in Hollywood, Los Angeles. The Lebron James mural on the store wall comes to life through AR lenses, and scores a slam dunk. This experience went viral on Twitter, with over 1.25 million views.

Apart from that, Burger King’s viral ad campaign – Burn that Ad – which we previously talked about in our article “AR Advertising – The Future, or a Gimmick?” is an interesting application of AR technology in advertising and branding. 

2. Commercial Application: Try before you buy

AR is heavily integrated in commercial products, mainly in hopes to help the consumers make more decisive decisions when shopping online. Currently, the most common theme is the use of AR in furniture and home décor shopping, as the main consideration for online shopping is how accurate the sizing of the items are, and whether or not the style and materials will suit and complement the current environment.  Through the use of AR, consumers can visualise and more accurately gauge how the furniture or décor fits in their homes.

Toyota also launched an AR application for car buyers to place the vehicles in any environment, such as their driveway or garage, or even their living rooms, allowing them to look at the cars from any angle without having to be at the showrooms. Using their mobile devices, consumers can zoom in and out, and rotate the vehicles to clearly observe each minute detail. 

LEGO has often used AR to engage with their consumers back in the days, and have amped up their AR present more now, as there are many screens everywhere in stores. As long as consumers pick up the LEGO box and scan the box exterior, they can view a 3D model of the toys inside, giving them a better idea of what they will be building.

AR for Retail | Why should retailers take the leap

The global market for AR and VR retail sales is predicted to reach USD $1.6 billion by 2025, and retail brands in the future are bound to adopt current technology in their business strategies. Furthermore, content has always been the core of the experiential shopping experience, thus the branding and promotion of retail brands are no longer limited to traditional marketing channels. The integration of online and offline channels offer better advantage to retailers, allowing them to target a wider reach of consumers. Through setting AR interactions at specific points in time to convey and tell the story of retail brands, this attracts and captures the attention of consumers, providing them valuable information that they resonate with, building trust and loyalty towards the brand, triggering positive associations in the long run.

According to Zion Market Research, the global AR market is expected to grow to USD $133 billion by 2021. As AR is effective in integrating the virtual and real world during the entirety of the shopping process, it not only provides entertainment, but is also adds functionality.

With the enhancement of AR hardware functions in new generations of mobile phones, the application of AR technologies are expected to grow with this demand, thus you may see more varying types of AR interactions in the market. From the perspective of retail applications, it has grown from its original days of AR product catalogues. Looking at the samples we mentioned previously, it has advanced to incorporate AR product trials, where consumers can “try” and more accurately find suitable products for themselves, leveraging on technology to complement physical stores and provide a more personalised shopping experience for consumers, stimulating their purchasing decisions.

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Experiential Marketing starts with AR

Shaping the marketing experience and creating a dialogue with consumers through a combination of technology and creativity

Starbucks is one of many international brands that actively engage digital technology to enhance the customer experience, using their app to participate in marketing and promotional activities such as lucky draws, completing payments, and obtaining related updates and news; Nike launched the Nike Run Club (NRC) app, which builds a community of shared social experience, with an added function of virtually trying on Nike products.

Why do these well-known brands do this? In an era where a full marketing experience is the new trend, the traditional method of marketing, which simply highlights the products function and characteristics, can no longer meet the consumers’ needs. Moving forward, experiential marketing is the way to go – tailoring the marketing experience, taking into consideration the consumers’ wants and desires, guiding them through the entire (purchasing) experience, therein strengthening the value of the brand in their eyes. 

What is Experiential Marketing?

Bernd Schmitt introduced the concept of experiential marketing in 1999, stating that “value does not only reside in the object of consumption – which can be either a product or service – but also lies in the experience of consumption.” He presented five types of experiential marketing approaches, to redefine and create a new way of marketing through sense, feel, think, act, and relate. 

Nowadays, many industries have adopted new, emerging technology in helping transform and shape a more comprehensive consumer experience. Among them, the application of immersive reality technologies such as augmented reality (AR), virtual reality (VR) and mixed reality (MR) are becoming increasingly popular.

Augmented Reality for branding and education: Starbucks Shanghai

Starbucks AR
(Image Source: Starbucks Reserve)

In recent years, Starbucks has been researching and incorporating emerging technology to provide better service and new experiences to their consumers. They collaborated with Alibaba to launch an AR experience, binding the experience to the Starbucks Reserve® Shanghai Roastery in Shanghai, China. Visitors simply use their mobile devices to scan the QR codes instore to follow the journey of a coffee bean from the plantation into our cups, and collect badges while they are learning. This creates a new, experiential environment for these visitors, generating a stronger brand impression.

Augmented Reality for the next generation of gaming: Angry Birds

Angry Birds, that burst into our phones some years back, has recently made a comeback, launching their new game – Angry Birds AR-Isle of Pigs – available for iOS and Android. There are currently over 40 fun-filled levels, where players can launch an attack on AR buildings from all angles. AR combines real world scenario with the game, making the overall experience more realistic. Another way of thinking is that games are not only for entertainment and leisure, but also a form of marketing method, especially in this new business model.

Augmented Reality for virtual shopping: Wannaby

With aims to break the barrier of online shopping, reducing the returns rate, and to improve the overall shopping experience, Wannaby uses a combination of new technologies to create a virtual fitting app – Wanna Kicks. Using the app, users simply choose a sneaker design, then aim the camera at their feet to see how it looks as they are “wearing” the shoes. Although this virtual fitting experience cannot completely resolve this issue of online shoe shopping, as consumers’ concern on being unable to touch and feel the shoe to gauge the size and comfort levels is hard to address using AR. However, this solution allows consumers to actually visualize how the shoe looks like on them, adding to this consumer shopping experience.

Augmented Reality to create a new marketing experience

In a diversified business model, it is essential to consider the consumers’ thought process, purchasing environment, and the scalability capacity. It is important for a business to provide an immersive experience, especially more so one that the consumer can relate to. This design experience can be achieved through the combination of virtual and real-world technologies, to create a multifaceted marketing experience. The incorporation of AR in these marketing experiences can benefit businesses of any scale, in various industries such as retail, transportation, entertainment, and so on.

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Immersive Reality Marketing: 7-Eleven’s Fall Football AR Campaign

A central part of their strategy is the concept of ‘always-on’ AR, designed to delight customers and deliver continued high-quality value-added immersive experiences for users by maximising their impressive range of brand partnerships. The consistency of activations establishes a strong relationship with customers, rewarding regular app usage as well as store visits and, crucially, ensuring it is never considered a novelty feature.

7 Eleven AR Campaign

Goals of AR Campaign

For the Fall Football campaign, the goal has remained the same: to drive interest towards 7-Eleven’s partners’ products via engaging experiences, as well as driving sales in-store via 7Rewards points.

Strategy of AR Campaign

The Fall Football activity continued the ongoing success of their ‘always-on’ AR campaign, which included activations for Pepsi, Dr. Pepper, Doritos, Red Bull, Reese’s, BODYARMOR and the Deadpool 2 franchise, all having a major impact on app downloads. By June 2019, the app had over ten million engagements across 30+ mini-games. The key was to continue this success, by ensuring that users kept returning to the app whilst also attracting new customers by targeting different markets – in this case football fans.

Strategy-wise, the team wanted to create a timely experience that capitalised on a major social event, to draw interested users to the 7Rewards app. The retailer wanted to keep users engaged with the app, thus incentivising customers to visit their retail locations to spend their 7Rewards points.

Fall Football launched to celebrate the start of the NFLs sporting season, under the theme ‘Get Game Day Ready.’ The campaign featured a virtual avatar of Dallas Cowboys quarterback and 7-Eleven brand ambassador Dak Prescott, created via an innovative digital full-body scan. The virtual Dak featured in many of the mini-games as well as guiding customers through the experiences. By using immersive technology and the notion of football celebrity, the app was able to tap into an emotive time for fans of the game.

The campaign included several AR activations that rolled out between September and November, including:

— A re-design of the app menu to incorporate AR elements, where Dak Prescott speaks to the player;
— An AR field goal challenge, where players kick footballs through goal posts placed in the real world;
— A photo feature, where fans can take a selfie with virtual Dak.
— A mini-game where fans customise the look and end zone dance moves of their avatar
— A trick-shot game where players help Dak Prescott shoot and knock over branded bottles.

AR Campaign Execution

To encourage gameplay, a virtual Dak Prescott appeared in the app to introduce the new games, activities, and awesome selfie features available throughout the season. Along with Dak’s celebrity, mini-games that allowed photos or videos to be shared on social media also helped to drive additional interest in the app, resulting in more users over time. It also incentivised players to keep returning to the app to discover new mini-games as they were released.

The app benefitted from the AR implementation, immersing customers in the 7Rewards app as they engaged with the games and collected 7Reward points. Innovation-wise, AR kept users interested and playing consistently. By making the content fun and engaging, users were incentivised to return to the app and collect further points that could be spent in 7-Eleven stores.

Campaign Results

The Fall Football Campaign successfully brought new customers to the 7Rewards app and converted users into retail footfall. Across all five mini-games, the app had:

— More than 2,700,000 scans over six months
— More than two minutes dwell time on the app
— More than 600,000 videos and photos shared
— More than 117,000,000 7Reward points generated that were spendable in-store

The key takeaway from is that consistent updates via engaging immersive AR experiences helps to form a tight bond with customers, creating a positive relationship that works over multiple years to drive trips and transactions.

“7-Eleven is customer-obsessed, constantly delivering unique and exciting experiences for customers,” said Sr. Director of Digital Product Management, Sajjad Khan, “We wanted to push what’s possible with AR, creating a timely campaign that surprised and delighted our consumer base. Our Fall Football promotion has been one of our most popular campaigns ever, and over 35 million 7Rewards members can take advantage of the fun and value the AR games offer. We look forward to providing customers with even more experiences of the future as we continue to innovate, research and develop.”