Everybody has at least heard of Angry Birds or even played it for hours on their mobile phone, tablet and even computer. After creating a popular global brand from their round colourful birds, Rovio has started lending some of their ‘magic dust’ to other brands who are struggling to regain their old glory in face of increasing competition. One of this brands is Nokia, which recently used these cute birds for the Australian launch of their new Lumia smartphone.
And because the characters of Angry Birds have already been featured in many games, movies, toys and they have even been to space, Nokia decided to use a more interactive technology with great word-of-mouth potential: augmented reality.
Looking to combine the global notoriety of Angry Birds and the increasing local fanbase for Timomatic, the popular Australian performer, Nokia has created an interactive augmented reality experience in one of Sidney’s busiest places. A giant screen and a matt filled with pressure sensors allows passers-by to interact with the lovely characters by petting or kicking them or to participate in a virtual dance-off with Timomatic in an augmented reality experience. The whole augmented reality installation is powered by an Xbox Kinect.
This is not the first time Angry Birds have been featured in an augmented reality experience (despite what some blogs suggest).
In the third quarter of 2011, T-Mobile used Angry Birds as part of their campaign in Hungary. The birds were part of a 3D AR experience enabled by the AR browser Junaio. Users of the app were able to see the four different coloured birds through their smartphone camera jumping around them and doing all kinds of tricks.
Great for building awareness and for creating positive brand associations, these AR experiences provide few technical challenges (for the developers) and short-term entertainment (for the users) demonstrated through their temporary usage. Nevertheless, many brands decide to go down this route for reaching a very difficult audience: young people passionate about technology and eager to be up-to-date with the latest gadgets. It’s only a matter of time until this approach will start to loose its effectiveness.