- Shoe retailer DSW kicked off a mobile web campaign for the holiday shopping rush that's powered by an interactive augmented reality (AR) "smile meter" for customers to unlock discounts, per a company announcement shared by email. The full-screen ad has users smile at their smartphone camera to measure their happy expressions with the teaser, "The more you smile, the more you save!"
- The interactive ad unit first asks mobile users for permission to access their smartphone camera to begin the facial scan, similar to AR face filters on Snapchat or Instagram. The person has five seconds to smile as the meter registers their happiness level before the ad offers 20% off most items in its online store.
- The effort is not targeting specific websites, but will instead target users based on DSW's key demographics ahead of the busy shopping weekend, Next Reality reported. Mobile creative agency PadSquad created the AR ad ahead of Black Friday for DSW, which has 515 stores in 44 states and leased departments at other retailers.
DSW's smile meter brings another layer of interactivity to mobile ads by urging smartphone users to physically engage with the brand to unlock deals. AR is a popular feature on social media apps like Snapchat, which says 70 million of its users interact with its AR lenses every day and spend an average of three minutes with them, signaling that the smile meter will likely resonate with mobile consumers.
As mobile AR continues to evolve and gain traction among consumers, many major brands are experimenting with the tech and incorporating it into their marketing campaigns, either through apps, browsers or platforms like Instagram or Snapchat. 7-Eleven, Adidas, Coty and Domino's have unveiled AR features for smartphone users in recent months, pointing to the growth in the space as more shoppers turn to mobile devices to discover and research products while on the go. Shopify, the mobile commerce platform that powers the websites of more than 500,000 merchants, in September created software tools to help brands and merchants more easily create AR images of products for their online stores.
Meanwhile, DSW in August reported strong same-store sales growth of 9.7% in Q2 2018 from a year earlier, as earnings of 63 cents a share beat analyst estimates of 46 cents. Revenue increased 16% to $795.3 million from a year earlier, according to CNBC.