When an Augmented Reality Experience Goes From Viral to Pandemic

A new campaign for Weet-Bix , launched On July 6th centered around a series of “3D cards”.

Photo credit NBR

When 10 of the series of 43 cards are held up to a web-cam, they trigger a three-dimensional image of the relevant All Black to appear onscreen (see photo above). Fans can rotate the card held in front of the web cam, and the onscreen figure rotates in full-perspective.

This now common augmented reality experience was developed by Total Immersion (creator of the Topps AR game), and Australian company Dreamscape.

The typical reaction you expect from such campaigns (many of which were produced in the past year) is – jaws dropping.

Not this time.

Ben Geek vividly describes the experience as a modern via Dolorosa. Hilarious. From an intrusive registration process ( “[they] demand, my name, my email address and my date of birth? Why exactly?”), to a draconian installation process (“have I broken the computer?”) – it left a strong bad taste among its users.

When Sanitarium, the Cereal company behind the promotion, dumped traditional media outlets such as TV and print in favor of this “futuristic” campaign, they didn’t expect this dystopian backlash. Apparently they reacted quickly and are redesigning the Weet-Bix promotion “after accepting that children might find their hi-tech features hard to digest.”

As Mark Billinghurst pontificates:

there’s a lesson there about how having great AR technology doesn’t guaranteed a successful marketing campaign if you provide a bad experience.

Thanks Mark Billinghurst for the tip

2 Responses

  1. oh, I meant to mention it on tomorrow’s linkfest. nevermind then.

  2. […] And if they experience is frustration, they’ll quickly discard your product (see this recent post from Ori about an AR product that failed customers as an example to the hazards of ignoring your […]

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