The UK-based augmented-reality advertising startup ‘Blippar’, which was launched in 2011, has just celebrated its first anniversary in the U.S. – and it’ll excite the interest of innovation-hungry art directors and account managers working in traditional advertising agencies. The startup’s total of 3 million users (1 million of whom live in the U.S.) suggests that AR is not confined to a handful of nerdy adolescents.
An ‘interactive wow experience’
In case there are any account managers or art directors out there unfamiliar with blipping, the company’s website explains: to “blip” something in the real world is to convert it instantly into “an interactive wow experience.” All it takes is a camera on any smart device and an AR marker on a real-world object. Once the free-app platform is opened, users simply hold their smartphones up to anything from packs of gum to ketchup bottles to cans of soda and they leap into life, delivering multiple interactive options and exclusive content.
The award-winning company lets users “pull” entertainment, offers, and 3D AR experiences out of their environment just by holding their smartphone up to an AR marker. As it says, “No clicks, no delays – just instant gratification.”
The jobbing art director is likely to agree that such a promise can be compellingly addictive. OK, it’s not new, but Blippar offers a far grander scale and a vastly faster access to AR than its competitors (scan a marked object and you’ll be looking at Blippar’s AR content inside 300 milliseconds). To date, 150 publishers and 500 brands have been persuaded by Blippar’s allure, and it’s no exaggeration to claim that brands are gagging for this kind of AR customer engagement.
According to Blippar’s founder and CEO Rish Mitra, Blippar is a bridge between the real world and the digital world, and big brands are coming to it in droves in order to use it in their own bespoke, native way. It’s a consumer-friendly gateway to AR advertising, accessing a brand’s digital content from a single destination (the Heinz tomato ketchup bottle, for instance, bursts into life on the smartphone with an interactive recipe book).
Ingeniously, Blippar lets brands modify their content depending on a range of data points, including location and time of day.
No wonder its booming.