Bring Your Brand to Life with Augmented Reality:

How To Create Engaging Interactive Packaging

The number of Augmented Reality (AR) mobile users, worldwide, is projected to hit 2.4 billion by 2023;

It’s a market that was worth £4.5 billion in 2016 and is expected to hit £14 billion by the end of 2020;

AR tops the list of tech that makes users view a brand as innovative.

All this is to say that AR isn’t a passing fad. It’s a growing trend. And for brands of all shapes and sizes, it’s an exciting opportunity to engage your customers, elevate your brand, and captivate a new audience – and all without reimagining how you package and sell your product!

In this post, we share the benefits of creating AR labelling for brands and explain – step by step – how we do it. But first…

What is Augmented Reality?

Augmented Reality mixes the real and virtual worlds, putting immersive, interactive experiences into the hands of the smartphone and tablet users. Using clever code and cutting edge video, 3D Modelling & animation. AR brings brands to life by simply scanning an image, label, QR code, or open space.

XL companies, such as McDonald’s, Coca-Cola, and IKEA have already used AR to great effect. Check out this video of ‘IKEA Place’ to see a top example of AR in action.

What are the benefits of AR packaging?

Using Augmented reality packaging is a smart way to stand out from the crowd. By inviting your customers to scan a code or label on your product, they’re spending even more time interacting with your brand. And apart from that point, the opportunities are almost endless

You could give customers access to an AR game with a scoreboard and prizes, further strengthening brand loyalty;

You could give them a discount code, encouraging further sales;

You could capture data and push them further down the marketing funnel;

You could prompt them to share the experience on social media, widening your audience via word-of-mouth, viral marketing.

The other clear advantage of investing in AR for brand packaging is the cost. There’s no need to redesign or alter your existing packaging. The focus is squarely on app design and development. This means you can have something live relatively quickly — perhaps in time for a summer promotion or tie-in with a film, TV, or sporting event.

Remember: With AR packaging, your customers aren’t just buying your product – they’re buying an experience. These experiences don’t always have to be with sales or marketing in mind. They could simply add value to your customer’s life. For example, pharma brands could link to an AR video explaining how to use their product or covering potential side effects. Food manufacturers, meanwhile, could share recipes or serving suggestions in a fun and compelling way.

How does Interactive packaging work?

The IKEA App we shared above is an example of “Markerless AR“.

Markerless AR content doesn’t require real-world print to unlock media – a user simply points their device’s camera at an open space or flat plane to deploy the chosen AR experiences.

However, AR for brand packaging requires a trackable image (a “marker”) to unlock each digital experience. These triggers can be engineered to be almost any desired graphic, image, or item, such as your existing label or logo.

Here’s an example of Marker-Based AR:

The Project8ball process for creating interactive packaging:

Our process for creating eye-catching AR packaging for brands encompasses several steps, starting with a detailed creative brief, and ending with a comprehensive promotion plan.

1. Creative Brief

2. Storyboarding

3. Design

4. Development 

5. Promotion

Let’s take a look at each step in a little more detail:

1. The Brief

First, we get to know your brand and your audience via a creative briefing exercise.

 

This helps us to better understand how you intend to use smart AR labels to engage your users. Our experience in live Web & App AR activations and creative 3D animation ensures your campaign will be aligned with your audience and your goals from day one.

2. Storyboarding Your Idea

Next, we detail your brand’s AR experience via a design-led storyboarding exercise. This helps us to visualise the concept, before exploring different options and adaptations, all while incorporating your brand guidelines and aesthetics.

3. Design

With a brief and storyboard signed off, we hand the reins to our talented 3D modelling team. Experts in the discipline of 3D modelling & gamification for AR, they ensure your 3D experience looks incredible and works optimally from the moment your customer engages with your AR app.

 

The beauty of this is that the only limit is imagination. We can even model a solution to suit cylindrical packaging, turning a simple can or tin into a moving stage for brand interaction.

 

Behold…

4. Development

Now for the magic dust. Working within the industry frameworks and standards, we develop the code that makes your bespoke AR experience leap from your user’s screen into the real world.

 

And our passion for emerging tech, coupled with our expertise in live web hosting means your AR content can be hosted, maintained, and accessed seamlessly across a range of smart devices.

5. Launch & Promotion

Finally, we launch your AR app and set about promoting it. Our marketing services run the gamut from app store optimisation to social media content, email marketing, influencer engagement, and more.

 

In short, we put your AR packaging experience in front of the right people, at the right time to maximise exposure and ROI.

In Summary

Augmented Reality packaging is a relatively new concept, meaning it still has that all-important wow-factor.

 

It’s exciting. It’s futuristic. And above all else, it’s something you can’t help but share.

 

If your competitors are trying to muscle-in on the saturated world of social media and video, AR gives you an impressive point of difference. By producing a custom AR experience, your brand will leap from the shelves and into the hearts and minds of your audience.