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UK based AR advertising startup Blippar marks one year of successful business in the US

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.”

Inge­nious options

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.

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