There’s nothing to say: Microsoft’s augmented reality headset, the famous HoloLens, knows how to make people talk. After the demonstration at gamers’ conference, during which Microsoft showed us the future of Minecraft when implemented with augmented reality, we passed directly to the collaboration with NASA and the space missions. In fact, as already said in a previous post, HoloLens will be used on the ISS, the International Space Station, to help astronauts especially for solving technical issues; in particular it will be used in the missions to Mars, where, since of the distance, the communication are delayed (up to 24 minutes!) and this could create complications in case of malfunctioning.

A HoloLens headset would have reached already the International Space Station, but unluckily it was destroyed in the explosion of the Dragon spacecraft the 28th June. Anyway, even if not in space, the device is being tested: part of the equipment to test, in fact, was destined to be tried underwater, in the NEEMO (NASA Extreme Environment Mission Operations) station, operative 45 feet (17 meters) underwater off the coast of Key Largo, Florida.

This month NEEMO will house four “waternauts” for 14 days: the captain of the mission, Luca Parmitano (a veteran of Expeditions 36-37 in 2013), never-flown astronauts Serena Auñón (NASA) and Norishige Kanai (Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency) and David Coan, NASA EVA management office engineer. Two technicians, who are also professional divers, live with them in the habitat to run the facility. The mission, started the 20th July, will test some equipment (between which a HoloLens headset and a second headset from another manufacturer) in a extreme environment, similar to the space one, and will help the astronauts getting used to the gravity conditions on asteroids (very low) and on Mars (about 1/3 of Earth gravity).

“We can learn about interaction between crewmembers and the ground control,” Parmitano said of the mission in a televised interview on NASA Television. “We can learn about procedures and ways to make our work effective.”

“It’s no longer just enough to put your brand on a shelf in the hope that your packaging stands out more than competitors.”

These are the words by Bep Dhaliwal, trade communications manager at Mars Chocolate UK, and in these times is a well-known truth. That’s where some new marketing solution comes up, in particular augmented reality: in fact Mars, the famous confectionary brand, decided to give a turn to their communication engaging the customers visiting Asda supermarket in the UK with a new app created in collaboration with the tech company Zappar. The 27th June between 10am and 4pm, Asda’s customers could be involved in a gamification marketing action to enter into the draw for a chance to win a signed shirt: they had just to use their smartphones or tablets and play the in-store augmented reality game “Be A Penalty Shoot Out Hero”, in which they had to beat the goalie from the penalty spot to enter the competition. After playing, the customers were able to see a in-store board with the best scores and also to share on social media their picture with the winner’s trophy.

This is not the first time that Asda and Zappar are together for an augmented reality campaign: the previous, successful gamification campaign was created during Halloween festivities to keep the children entertained; using smartphones and tablets they were able to go around the shops and find clues related to a seasonal monster hunt.

Max Dawes, partnerships director at Zappar, said: “It’s great for us to be able to work with Asda again and to show how AR can be used to create stand out activity for brands in a busy retail environment.” And “stand out activity” is the right definition, since the Halloween action seen 151,780 “zaps” from 67,073 shoppers: a pretty good result!

Experenti helped to deliver an incredible experience in the supermarkets too: read how we augmented the packaging of San Benedetto Aqua Vitamin!

“Non basta più mettere semplicemente il tuo prodotto sullo scaffale sperando che il tuo packaging spicchi più dei tuoi concorrenti”.

Queste sono le parole di Bep Dhaliwal, trade communications manager di Mars Chocolate UK, e di questi tempi è senza dubbio una verità. Ecco dunque che entrano in gioco nuove soluzioni di marketing, in particolare la realtà aumentata: infatti Mars, famoso brand di dolciumi, ha deciso di dare una svolta alla sua comunicazione coinvolgendo i clienti dei supermercati Asda del Regno Unito con una nuova app creata in collaborazione con Zappar. Il 27 Giugno, tra le 10 e le 16, i clienti di Asda hanno potuto prendere parte ad un’azione di gamification marketing per provare a vincere una t-shirt firmata: per partecipare dovevano semplicemente utilizzare i propri smartphone e tablet per giocare al gioco aumentato “Be A Penalty Shoot Out Hero”, nel quale dovevano vincere contro il portiere segnando un goal per provare ad essere estratti. Dopo aver giocato, i clienti potevano vedere una classifica con i punteggi migliori all’interno del negozio, nonché condividere sui social media le proprie foto con i trofeo del vincitore.

Questa non è la prima collaborazione di Asda e Zappar per una campagna di realtà aumentata: la precedente campagna, un vero e proprio successo, venne creata durante il periodo di Halloween per coinvolgere i bambini; usando smartphone e tablet i più piccoli potevano andare in giro per i negozi e trovare indizi legati ad una caccia al mostro ideata per l’occasione.

Max Dawes della Zappar ha dichiarato: “Siamo contenti di lavorare nuovamente con Asda e di poter mostrare come la realtà aumentata possa creare attività di spicco per i brand in un ambiente sovraffollato come quello del retail”. E “attività di spicco” è la giusta definizione, dato che l’azione di Halloween ha avuto come risultato ben 151.780 “zaps” da 67.073 acquirenti: un risultato davvero molto buono!

Volete toccare con mano un’azione di marketing e realtà aumentata tutta italiana? Guardate il lavoro che Experenti ha fatto per San Benedetto 🙂