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Michelle Ventresca

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Experiencing Life through Augmented Reality

While assembling cables in a Boeing aircraft back in the 1990's, Tom Caudell coined the term 'augmented reality'? (AR) to describe a virtual display viewed through a headset, which guided workers through the process. However, you don't have to be a Boeing engineer to experience the same kind of thrill. Today, any NFL fan is exposed to AR by catching a glimpse of the '1st & Ten'? graphics system used on television during games. AR is a technique of overlaying graphics on a real-world image to enhance the scene, such as the yellow first-down line that can be seen on a televised football field- that is not there in reality. With recent developments in AR technology, we've seen a large influx of AR being used at retail for marketing, promotions and sales needs targeting consumers while at home, on-the-go, or in-store. AR allows for consumers to have an enhanced brand experience, and for retailers to connect with their target audience by utilizing engaging, interactive techniques rather than traditional marketing methods. A handful of retailers, including Ray-Ban, have successfully integrated AR into their marketing strategies. For over seventy years the Ray-Ban brand has been well-respected as one of the most iconic in the world, beginning as the official sunglass of U.S. Army fighter pilots through their line of Aviators, and also creating the timeless trend of the Wayfarer- both sported flawlessly, might I add, by Tom Cruise on the big screen in Top Gun and of course, Risky Business! Ray-Ban has taken their online product marketing strategy to a whole new digital realm, as consumers are now able to try on eyewear through a 'Virtual Mirror'?. By utilizing a web-cam, the e-commerce community can enter an augmented reality by positioning a pair of glasses over their own facial image to see how they would look sporting a number of Ray-Ban fashions. Created by the FittingBox Company, the technology uses a person's eyes, nose, and ears as AR-tracking markers to determine exactly how the glasses appear on the shopper's face. Being able to see the glasses on your face from the comfort of your computer chair is a significant enhancement to the online shopping experience. Ray-Ban has clearly recognized the potential of AR, and created internal and external strategies to distinguish themselves from their competition through the use of modern technology. What other AR examples have you seen in Shopper Marketing? Do you have plans to integrate AR in 2011? While assembling cables in a Boeing aircraft back in the 1990's, Tom Caudell coined the term 'augmented reality'? (AR) to describe a virtual display viewed through a headset, which guided workers through the process. However, you don't have to be a Boeing engineer to experience the same kind of thrill. Today, any NFL fan is exposed to AR by catching a glimpse of the '1st & Ten'? graphics system used on television during games. AR is a technique of overlaying graphics on a real-world image to enhance the scene, such as the yellow first-down line that can be seen on a televised football field- that is not there in reality. With recent developments in AR technology, we've seen a large influx of AR being used at retail for marketing, promotions and sales needs targeting consumers while at home, on-the-go, or in-store. AR allows for consumers to have an enhanced brand experience, and for retailers to connect with their target audience by utilizing engaging, interactive techniques rather than traditional marketing methods. A handful of retailers, including Ray-Ban, have successfully integrated AR into their marketing strategies. For over seventy years the Ray-Ban brand has been well-respected as one of the most iconic in the world, beginning as the official sunglass of U.S. Army fighter pilots through their line of Aviators, and also creating the timeless trend of the Wayfarer- both sported flawlessly, might I add, by Tom Cruise on the big screen in Top Gun and of course, Risky Business! Ray-Ban has taken their online product marketing strategy to a whole new digital realm, as consumers are now able to try on eyewear through a 'Virtual Mirror'?. By utilizing a web-cam, the e-commerce community can enter an augmented reality by positioning a pair of glasses over their own facial image to see how they would look sporting a number of Ray-Ban fashions. Created by the FittingBox Company, the technology uses a person's eyes, nose, and ears as AR-tracking markers to determine exactly how the glasses appear on the shopper's face. Being able to see the glasses on your face from the comfort of your computer chair is a significant enhancement to the online shopping experience. Ray-Ban has clearly recognized the potential of AR, and created internal and external strategies to distinguish themselves from their competition through the use of modern technology. What other AR examples have you seen in Shopper Marketing? Do you have plans to integrate AR in 2011? Path:

Experiencing Life through Augmented Reality

While assembling cables in a Boeing aircraft back in the 1990's, Tom Caudell coined the term 'augmented reality'? (AR) to describe a virtual display viewed through a headset, which guided workers through the process. However, you don't have to be a Boeing engineer to experience the same kind of thrill. Today, any NFL fan is exposed to AR by catching a glimpse of the '1st & Ten'? graphics system used on television during games. AR is a technique of overlaying graphics on a real-world image to enhance the scene, such as the yellow first-down line that can be seen on a televised football field- that is not there in reality. With recent developments in AR technology, we've seen a large influx of AR being used at retail for marketing, promotions and sales needs targeting consumers while at home, on-the-go, or in-store. AR allows for consumers to have an enhanced brand experience, and for retailers to connect with their target audience by utilizing engaging, interactive techniques rather than traditional marketing methods. A handful of retailers, including Ray-Ban, have successfully integrated AR into their marketing strategies. For over seventy years the Ray-Ban brand has been well-respected as one of the most iconic in the world, beginning as the official sunglass of U.S. Army fighter pilots through their line of Aviators, and also creating the timeless trend of the Wayfarer- both sported flawlessly, might I add, by Tom Cruise on the big screen in Top Gun and of course, Risky Business! Ray-Ban has taken their online product marketing strategy to a whole new digital realm, as consumers are now able to try on eyewear through a 'Virtual Mirror'?. By utilizing a web-cam, the e-commerce community can enter an augmented reality by positioning a pair of glasses over their own facial image to see how they would look sporting a number of Ray-Ban fashions. Created by the FittingBox Company, the technology uses a person's eyes, nose, and ears as AR-tracking markers to determine exactly how the glasses appear on the shopper's face. Being able to see the glasses on your face from the comfort of your computer chair is a significant enhancement to the online shopping experience. Ray-Ban has clearly recognized the potential of AR, and created internal and external strategies to distinguish themselves from their competition through the use of modern technology. What other AR examples have you seen in Shopper Marketing? Do you have plans to integrate AR in 2011? While assembling cables in a Boeing aircraft back in the 1990's, Tom Caudell coined the term 'augmented reality'? (AR) to describe a virtual display viewed through a headset, which guided workers through the process. However, you don't have to be a Boeing engineer to experience the same kind of thrill. Today, any NFL fan is exposed to AR by catching a glimpse of the '1st & Ten'? graphics system used on television during games. AR is a technique of overlaying graphics on a real-world image to enhance the scene, such as the yellow first-down line that can be seen on a televised football field- that is not there in reality. With recent developments in AR technology, we've seen a large influx of AR being used at retail for marketing, promotions and sales needs targeting consumers while at home, on-the-go, or in-store. AR allows for consumers to have an enhanced brand experience, and for retailers to connect with their target audience by utilizing engaging, interactive techniques rather than traditional marketing methods. A handful of retailers, including Ray-Ban, have successfully integrated AR into their marketing strategies. For over seventy years the Ray-Ban brand has been well-respected as one of the most iconic in the world, beginning as the official sunglass of U.S. Army fighter pilots through their line of Aviators, and also creating the timeless trend of the Wayfarer- both sported flawlessly, might I add, by Tom Cruise on the big screen in Top Gun and of course, Risky Business! Ray-Ban has taken their online product marketing strategy to a whole new digital realm, as consumers are now able to try on eyewear through a 'Virtual Mirror'?. By utilizing a web-cam, the e-commerce community can enter an augmented reality by positioning a pair of glasses over their own facial image to see how they would look sporting a number of Ray-Ban fashions. Created by the FittingBox Company, the technology uses a person's eyes, nose, and ears as AR-tracking markers to determine exactly how the glasses appear on the shopper's face. Being able to see the glasses on your face from the comfort of your computer chair is a significant enhancement to the online shopping experience. Ray-Ban has clearly recognized the potential of AR, and created internal and external strategies to distinguish themselves from their competition through the use of modern technology. What other AR examples have you seen in Shopper Marketing? Do you have plans to integrate AR in 2011? Path:

Holiday Shopping'?¦ Mobilized.

Who wants to spend hours on end waiting in lines at the mall when you can take care of your holiday shopping via your mobile device? Between check-in deals, social coupons, scanner and price comparison apps, shopping has never been so easy. But does it really match up to the holiday spirit of in-store shopping? Smartphones have developed so drastically over their short lifespan that the current technology allows for users to stay connected as much as you can from a computer, without even having to be connected to one. The phones have more power than ever before, and even larger viewing screens to assist consumers in these mobile shopping sprees. Shoppers frequently conduct research before making a purchase in-store or online, whether they are looking for the best price or consumer reviews on the product. This process has been simplified, as these new mobile search capabilities are not only helping the sales cycle in-store, but they are now enabling us to search for and purchase items all from one mobile device. According to eMarketer.com and IDC Retail Insights, mobile shopping will account for 28% of holiday shopping this season, which translates into $127 billion of the $447 billion in holiday spending that has been forecasted by the National Retail Federation (NRF) for the U.S. Therefore, it has become more relevant for retailers to create a mobile presence either through a mobile app or an easy-to-use mobile web interface. In a recent survey conducted by Google, nearly half of the smartphone users questioned claimed that they were 'very'? or 'extremely likely'? to download a mobile app for their holiday shopping this year. According to Stacy Janiak, United States Retail Practice Leader at Deloitte, 'We are at the cusp of this technology really driving a lot of activity during the shopping season'?¦ It is both an opportunity and a challenge for a retailer, because you can have a consumer who can cross-shop your store with other brick-and-mortar stores or online, all from the convenience of your aisle.'? For example, J.C. Penney launched an integrated marketing campaign in mid-November ('New list. New Gifts. Who Knew'?), that helped to showcase the chain as the place to find gifts that will top everyone's Christmas list. The campaign helped to raise awareness of the quality and breadth of merchandise that the retailer has to offer, and included national television spots, outdoor ads, print, digital, direct mail and of course mobile and social networking. The launch of their new mobile app, specifically for the holiday season (m.jcp.com), should be highlighted, as it allows consumers to make purchases right from their smartphone, while checking-in on Foursquare and Facebook Deals to receive special in-store offers. Mobile coupons are also sent to consumers via text-message, which give them the option to receive special offers. However, one must raise the question of whether or not mobile shopping can really equate to that of in-store shopping during the holiday season. Part of the holiday tradition in my family is taking the time to make our lists, and visit the stores together for an evening of holiday cheer as we purchase gifts for family and friends. Some may argue that there is a lack of holiday spirit in shopping online, as you are not emerged in the excitement, smells of the holiday season, or the joy of stumbling upon the perfect gift that you may not have thought of otherwise. Technology can only do so much around the holidays; the rest is all found in the full-on experience of traditional holiday shopping. I, for one, will always take part in the experience regardless of how crazy the malls may be. Nothing in my mind can beat the holiday rush, as it only comes but once a year!

Flash Mobs take Consumers by Surprise

For those of you who aren't familiar, a 'flash mob'? is when a large group of people assemble in a public place, seemingly going about their normal, everyday business, until all of a sudden, the group breaks into a performance of some sort. In the fashion capital of the world, New York City, the AMP team executed flash mob fashion shows recently for two retail store grand openings last week. What better way to capture consumers' attention than to catch them by surprise with a free fashion show in the middle of the day'?¦ right on the sidewalk? Imagine walking through the city, only to encounter a sudden blast of music, an emcee setting the scene for a fashion show, and a crew of paparazzi snapping shots of beautiful models as they begin to strut their stuff down the 'catwalk'?. This assembly only occurs for a short period of time, but long enough to leave a lasting impression in the minds of those passing by who stop to find out what all the ruckus is about. As soon as the show is complete, the gang disperses back into the crowds, blending in with tourists and city folk until the next flash mob commences. We showcased the hottest Fall fashions throughout the city, as our ten models walked an improv runway. Consumers who experienced the flash mobs walked away with excitement, as they had a firsthand visual of what they could look like after shopping at the store, and many walked away with the intentions of going right to the grand opening to see for themselves! Flash Mobs are definitely a fun addition to the world of experiential marketing! In fact the new hit series, GLEE, was featured in a Seattle flash mob recently. In a populated walking mall, the sounds of the Glee cast singing Don't Stop Believin' (one of my favorites from Journey!), Gold Digger and more filled the air. All of a sudden, dancers broke out of the crowd to perform. 'Gleeks'? from all over the country flew in to be a part of the giant event, proving that flash mobs are truly entertaining and engaging. Here in our own city of Boston, a flash mob appeared for the lunch crowds at City Place, promoting the ArtsEmerson production of Fraulein Maria in September. The Gwen Stefani hit, Wind It Up, pulsed through the speakers and lunch-goers found themselves lost in a sea of dancers. Flash mobs are certainly shocking consumers and are becoming a popular tool for experiential marketers to utilize for promotions. Want to learn more? Send us an email!

'Is this Real Life?'? - 3D Emerging into our Lives

First of all, for those of you who don't understand the title of this post, you need to pay YouTube a visit. It's worth it, I promise you. Sadly though, I'm not going to write about David after he visited the dentist (as funny as he is). While caring for my now wisdom-toothless boyfriend after his trip to the dentist, we ended up seeing 'Easy A'? (pretty good if you're looking for a few laughs).  What really struck me were the previews before the movie, since half of them were advertising upcoming films that are being released in 3D!  It's going to be hard for anything to beat Avatar in IMAX but either way, this new trend is pretty cool if you ask me!  Not quite 'real-life'? but it's a close second. Due to many emerging technologies, we as consumers are developing heightened brand expectations and look for more of a shock value in advertising from the brands that we know and love.  3D consumer experiences are certainly doing the trick, and leaving lasting impressions. Recently, brands such as SoBe, Armani Exchange and even Maxim, are taking the 3D route and are drawing quite a bit of attention by doing so.  I can recall the hype and excitement around the Super Bowl in 2009, as everyone had to prepare for the new 3D SoBe commercial by picking up a pair of 3D glasses.  It's not every day you that you can witness masculine football players taking up ballet in 3D! Furthermore, the 3D trend has continued to spread as Armani Exchange has captured the 'hard-edged style and proactive thrill of the future unknown'? through their '2020/Speed Style'? campaign. A|X is a leader in trendy fashions, and will take a lead on the cutting edge of advertising as they invade trendy magazines with their two page 3D spread. Not only is the 3D campaign featured in printed magazines, but it directs readers to special 2D and 3D music videos on their webpage for a well-rounded consumer experience. Similarly, Maxim recently showcased a 3D spread which featured Anna Kournikova in their October issue, equipped with 3D glasses for your viewing pleasure. Yes guys, dreams do in fact come true! Given the experience of seeing a movie or some form of advertisement in 3D, how are we ever going to appreciate anything less than this new 3D norm?  It will be interesting to see what the future holds because who would have ever thought during the days of black and white TV that 3D would exist?  Technologies are developing even more rapidly now.  So, what's next!?

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