BIG W taps Snapchat AR tech to animate toy catalogue

Retail chain injects interactive tech into its annual toy mania event and brings iconic doll Barbie to life with AR

Snapchat, which has been at the forefront of augmented reality (AR) innovation on its messaging and photo sharing platform, has been chosen by toy retailer, BIG W, to animate its toy catalogue using the interactive technology.

Shoppers can scan the Snapcode on the BIG W toy catalogue cover and watch as the iconic toy Barbie leaps and spins on the page.

“The tools we have on Snapchat provide brands, such as BIG W, an avenue to creatively connect with their target audience, adding an element of play within their overall advertising experience. With Marker Tech being made available to advertisers, we hope that this will inspire consumers to experience brands/products in a whole new way,” said general manager, Snap Australia, Kathryn Carter.

AR extends the physical world by superimposing digital elements such as image, sounds, video and graphics over real world locations, objects or pictures and can be experienced though mobiles, tablets or smartglasses. It has applications in entertainment, gaming and work - wherever real-world things can be enhanced with the digital or virtual.

Read more: 5 great examples of augmented reality in marketing

Seeing the opportunities, Snapchat has in the last few years taken its filters and overlay technology from mobile to desktop and from faces to images and objects. Physical locations can be enhanced with AR, while products can be embellished with a little dash of tech and brands can animate themselves in a way not possible through any other technology or advertising medium. 

Snapchat wants to take the lead and has opened up its AR tech to advertisers allowing them to use its 3D World Lenses. Since then it's been used in campaigns such as Bud Light, Dominos Pizza and Warner Bros in the US.

Its latest offering, Snapchat AR Marker Tech, can animate real-world advertising like posters, billboards, packaging and, as in the BIG W example, catalogues by recognise an image such as a QR code that triggers a virtual graphic.

Snapchat Marker Tech was incorporated into the UK cinema release in June of X-Men: Dark Phoenix. In this campaign,  the world of Dark Phoenix was brought to life with star, Sophie Turner, appearing surrounded by swirling cosmic force when the code was activated by pointing the Snapchat camera at a movie poster. In the US, Papa John’s teamed up with Snapchat to launch an AR pizza box for Spider-Man: Far From Home that brought Spider-Man to life on the box.

Snapchat also recently updated its Lenses AR tool that can transform the world's most iconic landmarks such as Buckingham Palace in London, Capitol Building in Washington DC and the Eiffel Tower in Paris in real-time when users are visiting that location.

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