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Spar app mixes augmented reality, live video to support promotion

International retail chain Spar has launched an augmented reality application in Hungary enabling children to record their own movie using 3D animated animals inserted into live camera images.

The 3D Kifesto app is part of a bigger promotion providing shoppers with stickers of animals that can be placed in a booklet. Users of the app can paint 3D animals, select an animation for the animal such as dancing and then mix live camera images with the 3D animation.

“The app itself is an additional tool for [the sticker promotion], it adds more fun to the concept to make kids remember to do it each day, and asking their mum to visit Spar again,” said Szabolcs Budahazy, CEO and founder of ARworks, Hungary.

“Kids can play with it and can share photos/videos made with it on Facebook,” he said.

“This supports the whole project, their friends see they are playing with it so they are motivated to get their album as well.”

Spar is an international retail chain and franchise with approximately 12,500 stores in 35 countries worldwide.

Motivation to shop
Spar’s sticker collection booklet for kids can be purchased for approximately 2 Euros. Shoppers then receive five random stickers after each purchase of 10 Euros.

The stickers match up with 200 empty spaces in the booklet, each for a different kind of animal.

“They are motivated to come and spend as much as possible so they receive a lot of stickers so they can fill up the album with all of the stickers,” Mr. Budahazy said.

The 3D Kifesto app complements the promotion by enabling users to create a video of a person dancing with an animated rooster, for example.

The painted 3D animals can be saved to a pet zoo and users can share their videos on YouTube, Facebook and other social media sites.

The app was promoted on Spar’s Web site, its Facebook page and on leaflets in the supermarkets.

AR advancements
Since its launch on Aug. 21, the app has been downloaded nearly 14,000 times for iOS and Android.

There are 10 million people in Hungary, with an approximately 20 percent smartphone penetration, per Mr. Budahazy.

The new app is a follow-up to Spar’s spring launch of the Oceanmania AR app, which enabled users to swim alongside fish in a giant aquarium and had 40,000 downloads.

Going forward, ARworks is looking at enabling the user to have movement controls in the app, so a person in a video can fly around with a 3D butterfly, for example.

“This is a big technological step in AR,” Mr. Budahazy said.

“Now, users can start the app on their phone, select the 3D animated content – in marketing it should be connected to the brand, to the product – and make a movie with it,” he said.

“Just imagine that kids can shoot a video together with the Nestlé Rabbit mascot. Or adults shooting a video with a Virgin Airways plane, flying around their head.”

Final Take
Chantal Tode is associate editor on Mobile Commerce Daily, New York