AUGMENTED REALITY (An award-winning failure)



With the birth of QR codes, Hallmark’s engineers were approached by the marketing team to see if there might be a way to incorporate Augmented Reality into the greeting card format. Working with a team of programmers in South Korea, my team developed the concepts for dozens of Augmented Reality cards with a focus on juvenile recipients. This was a difficult project. As editorial director, I had to story-board the concepts with the designers to walk through the consumer experience for each product. The cards would not implement a QR code, but rather, the consumer would have to go to a landing page and select the card they purchased to download the app. Once they showed the card to their webcam, the program was unlocked and the interaction began. Much like DVD Greetings, this was a difficult one to explain to our consumer. These cards sold better because they were no more than $3.95 per card. I also implemented the strategy of making them really good greeting cards with strong licenses that would appeal to kids, knowing that most would never be activated. In fact, only 8% of the cards purchased were ever activated. At the time of release, less than 20% of households with a computer actually had a webcam. Five of the cards in the line, however, received honors from AIGA for excellence in innovation and design. Here are examples of AR cards at play: 


CINDERELLA FACIAL RECOGNITION (The young actress’ facial expressions in this promo cracks me up.)



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