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Clinique UK bets on augmented reality to drive sales

Personal care brand Clinique UK recently placed mobile calls to action to bring its static print ads to life and encouraged users to either shop via their handsets or visit the nearest store.

The print ads ran for the month of March in Britain and encouraged users to use their mobile devices to interact with content. Clinique UK worked with augmented reality application Blippar on this project.

“Print is, by its nature old news as soon as it comes off a printing press, and this technology enables it to be used as a trigger for real-time information updates, a digital bridge to mobile Web pages, content downloads or interactive touch screen experiences,” said Jessica Butcher, marketing and founding director at Blippar, London.

“Augmented reality is simply one of the forms of content delivery that can be facilitated by this technology,” she said.

“The demographic audience here is important for Clinique – young, upwardly mobile women are amongst the early adopters of smart technology and ready users of new ways to engage with their favorite products.”

Mobile makeup
Clinique UK ran the mobile-equipped ads on outdoor posters and print advertisements.

The ads promote the company’s line of Even Better makeup and serums. Each ad features a photo of a smartphone next to a piece of copy that encourages users to download the Blippar app to bring the ad to life.

IOS and Android users can download the app for free from either Apple’s App Store or Google’s Android Market.

Once users download the app, they can scan the smartphone icon to activate the ad.

A screen then pops up that lets users buy and learn more about the product.

Consumers can tap to be directed to Clinique UK’s mobile site where they can buy the product. Users can then add items to their shopping carts, read reviews and learn more about Clinque’s products via the mobile site.

Using their mobile device’s GPS, consumers can also find the nearest Clinique store with a click-to-call function and directions.

Additionally, users can “like” Clinique’s Facebook page via the augmented reality page to see what others are saying about the brand.

The augmented reality page also includes videos that users can watch to learn more about the products.

Augmented value
An augmented reality initiative such as Clinique’s is a great way for a brand to add another dimension to print advertising.

The ads also promote users to download an app in order to unlock the additional content, which gives users an incentive for downloading the Blippar app.

In addition to the Clinique campaign, augmented reality has gained traction with big brands as a way to take content to the next level.

For example, Blippar also recently worked with Guinness on an initiative to bring its on-pack labels to life last year (see story).

However, an augmented reality initiative is only as strong as the value that it gives to consumers. In order for users to actively use their devices, there needs to be an attached reward.

“Image recognition augmented reality has the potential to be hugely disruptive to traditional printed formats in many very exciting ways,” Ms. Butcher said.

“’Markerless image recognition offers the ability to turn any printed matter – whether a page of a newspaper or magazine, an advert, a billboard poster or printed product package into an interactive content experience,” she said.

Final Take
Lauren Johnson is editorial assistant on Mobile Commerce Daily, New York