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June 14, 2009

35 Awesome Augmented Reality Examples

If it wasn't for Twitter and social media as a whole grabbing all the headlines Augmented Reality would be the most talked about "technology" of 2008/2009.

While the roots of the technology have been around since as early as the 1990's (remember VR games!) it's only in the last 12 months has the interactive industry taken to it like moths to a flame. Below you will find some of the worlds biggest brands dipping their toe into "Augmented Reality". Some are in it for the PR aspect others trying to find a useful application. Many just to satisfy their need to do something new.

The technology has it's limitations though. Not only do you need a web cam but also a printer to activate it. Add to that one requires a download and installation of an application you cut your potential audience down considerably. That said I enjoy watching the videos and demos as much as interacting with it myself.

If you know of any interesting applications for AR please comment below. I know there is much more out there and my limited research was focused on the advertising and marketing side rather than the tech and art side.

Augmented Reality!? That's so 2008
Has AR jumped the shark? Well if Virtual Magicians are using it I think that's your answer. For me the best application of this is in store and also with kids toys. Both applications have far more useful applications than a fun web toy.

Below are 35 great examples of where Augmented Reality and their applications to the commercial and art world.

Correction Update: Apologies to Metaio who I incorrectly forgot to credit as the technology behind the Mini and Lego examples. This is why you don't post at 1am :)

I had not seen any arcade style games in AR before this. Fun and stupid and it was meant to be.

Agency: Poke London [UK]
View | More Info
GE Smart Grid
For such a dry subject this execution generated a lot of buzz.

Agency: Goodby, Silverstein & Partners [US]

Assassins Creed 2 Teaser
Gamers love hidden codes and content and this was the first video game site to use AR.

Agency: Unknown

Earth Hour World in Your Hands
So the way to save the world is to print out useless paper?

Agency: Wunderman [AU]
Relapse 3D Art Comp
Turning the logo into an art canvas was nice idea. Too bad the entries in the comp are so shite.

Agency: Outside Line [UK]

Doritos Sweet Chili
Wow packaging with AR is already here. Doritos moved fast.

Living Sasquatch
It's a video editor with a 3D Sasquatch. Quite impressive and the video record feature is great.

Agency: Boffswana [AU]

Mini Germany Demo
This was the first big brand example I saw last year. Couldn't get it to work on my laptop :(

Agency: Unknown
Technology: Metaio
View | Case Study

Papas Road Trip Virtual Ride
Another brand with their packaging altered to have AR codes.

Agency: Unknown

Nissan Good Decision
The decision maker and then AR surprise at the end is nice.

Agency: Unknown

Ray-Ban Virtual Mirror
Probably the most practical application I've seen online. Too bad another download is needed

Agency: Unknown
Technology: Fitting Box [FR]
Topps Virtual Playing Cards
I wish this was around when I collected playing cards. The possibilities are endless.

Technology: Total Immersion

Night at the Museum 2 Comes to Life
Half promotion for the film half promotion for the news paper.

Agency: Soap [AU]
Technology: Total Immersion

USPS Priority Mail Box Simulator
A semi useful application of Augmented Reality.

Agency: AKQA [US]

Family Football Virtual Trophy

Agency: TBWA | Special Moves [UK]
View Note: Currently not on site

Experience the Enterprise
Paramount went all out on this execution for Star Trek.

Agency: Unknown
Technology: Total Immersion

Join Star Fleet Academy
Another Star Trek augmented reality promo.

Agency: Unknown
McDonalds Dippers Game
Agency: Unknown
ADIDAS Virtual Avatar
Agency: Unknown
Technology: Total Immersion
Lego Store at Disney Land
This must blow kid's minds and parent's wallets.

Technology: Metaio
View | PR
Eye of Judgment for PS3
Consoles are also getting in on the action.

Nissan Cube
Agency: Unknown
Fanta Games
Fanta pushing the mobile aspect of the technology.

Agency: Ogilvy
View | More Info
BMW Z4 in 3D
I love the real life montage of the car. Takes this to a new level of fun.

Agency: Dare [UK]
View | More Info
Toyota IQ Reality
Agency: Unknown
BMW Factory R&D
Not just brands.

Artists, tech heads and musicians are getting into Augmented Reality as well. Here's some non branded examples.
Virtual Drumkit
Looking for this to be re-skinned for a brand soon

By: Squidder
Augmented Reality T-Shirts + Twitter
Status= "I'm wearing a Twitter shirt!"

By: Squidder
Augmented Reality Mobile Game: Catapult
I want this now!

By: Unknown
Level heads
This looks like a lot of fun

Agency: Julian Oliver
Augmented Reality Card Trick
By: Virtual Magician

Julian Perretta's 3d video for "Ride My Star" music video

Agency: Unknown

The Artvertiser
I love how anti-advertising the art world is.

Arhrrrrrr Zombie Game (look for the Skittles integration!)
I missed this at GDC. Looks fantastic.

By: GVU Center's Augmented Environments Lab at Georgia Tech, in collaboration with SCAD-Atlanta
Augmented Reality Snow Flakes
Agencies jumped in for the 2008 Xmas card rush

Agency: Tellart
Special Moves Xmas
Agency: Special Movies [UK]
View Thanks Iain for the video

McCaan Funky Natal
Agency: McCaan [BR]
View | More Info
Scope Augmented Reality Toys
There isnt a toy executive alive that woulnd't get excited by this.

By: Frantz Lasorne
More Info


There are two main ways to achieve Augmented Reality in a browser.

1: Dedicated Plugin:

- Total Immersion:This French company has been the leader in the Augmented Reality field for commercial use. If you are after the best qality 3D this is the one to go with.

Link: Official Site

- Metaio: This German based company is big competitor to Total Immersion and has been behind some of the latest campaigns for Mini and Lego.

Link: Official Site

Pros: Higher quality 3D
Cons: Costly licence fee, no community, single vendor, custom code language, large file size, new plugin required

2: Flash: Can be integrated into any flash site and works with Flash 8+
No plugin, small file size, open source, community, flash is a common skill
Lower quality 3D

There is also various other technologies which could be used but all have limited web capabilities.

Many universities have Augmented Reality research labs and I think we'll start to see this technology get more mature over the next few years as commercial applications for it start to materialize.

More Reading

I got most of the examples and more info from the following sites/articles.
Yotube Search

There are also two blogs dedicated to AR which have even more examples

If you have any other good examples of branded and unbranded Augmented Reality please submit them to us at submit [at]

I can't mention augmented reality without showing this video.

If you enjoyed this feature you might also like our advertising features on Media Buys Creatives Will Love, Sexiest Banner Ads, Crowded Ads, Agency Xmas Cards 2008, 2007 & 2006 the 2008 US Election

December 21, 2008

Flute Beatboxing

This is something I missed. It's the new Melbourne Shuffle. So if you're quick enough you can whack a logo at the end and score yourself a viral ad.

Note: I think Melbourne Shuffle is still ready to be "adverted" unless someone can send me an video where this has already ben used by a brand.

March 29, 2008

Earth Hour. Less Hype, More Fact.

By now you're all familiar with the well-hyped event know as 'Earth Hour'. An event that won the 2007 Cannes Titanium award for Leo Burnett, WWF and its commercial supporters. If you've been living under a rock, Earth Hour 2008 takes place Saturday March 29th, at 8pm.

But how much of a legitimate event is this? To many, it's looking like nothing more than an opportunity for companies to greenwash the public.

Then again, the public would appear to have different thoughts. Here's a poll taken on Saturday March 29th @ 9am by Sky News Australia.

If you'd seen the Cannes entry, you would probably be thinking Australian's are an environmental bunch. Not really the case, Well, perhaps unsurprisingly Earth Hour is attracting its fair share of critics and has come under intense scrutiny by the Australian media this week - except that is, if the media outlet is Fairfax. Fairfax is a chief sponsor, who's major mastheads include The Sydney Morning Herald, and The Melbourne Age.

Influential media commentator Crikey took advertising industry rag Campaign Brief and the advertising industry to task this week, highlighting just how farcical the event is.

And rightly so.

Here's an extract from Crikeyemail this week, along with another article here

Let's play spot the oxymoron.

To celebrate Earth Hour, ad magazine Campaign Brief -- with Earth Hour partners Fairfax/The Sydney Morning Herald -- is offering the chance to win a trip to Cannes. Yes, in a big old emission-puffing plane.

Thanks guys for switching off your lights, we'll now use it to offset our delightful European sojourn! Campaign Brief writes:

[We're] offering two trips to the creative team who demonstrate the most effective and/or inspirational way to leverage Earth Hour 2008 and The Sydney Morning Herald is offering a trip each to the client and agency person behind the best work...

"Just about the whole industry has put aside its cynicism and pledged to support this initiative", says CB. "How many times in your life do you get offered an open brief that encourages you to openly borrow from a Cannes-winning idea?"

Yes thank you dear ad companies for putting cynicism to one side, but forgive us if we can't. Earth Hour might have noble aspirations, but the execution is a little murkier, with greenwashing as far as the eye can see.

Well said Crikey. And long overdue criticism. Take a look at the entry video and overview board produced by Leo Burnett Sydney for the Cannes Advertising festival.

You'll see media hype - otherwise known as media impressions, is the order of the day when it comes to measuring the effectiveness of an event. So you can bet that bit of footage from Sky New above doesn't make it to the Cannes Entry reel this year.

So what's the WWF make of this commercialisation? Who knows, but if you take a look around Sydney, commercial endorsements are certainly responsible for some serious carbon emissions. Posters, Flyers, T-Shirts, Caps, Billboards. You name it.

Aside from the huge amounts of printed collateral, including a 40 page 'Light's Out' supplement in Fairfax papers, there was this stunt for AGL Electricity which had commentators pointing out the emissions from that balloon alone would probably account for 10,000 light bulbs!

Here's how the WWF is promoting Earth Hour 2008. Obviously the Cannes entry video wasn't quite the award winning cut they needed.

Enjoy your evening, wherever you are.

November 11, 2007

Seth Godin on the Future of Advertising


Sure, everyone's pitching in on this topic, but here's what emanated out of the smart, shiny noggin of Seth Godin:

"The problem is that ad agencies have defined themselves as the people who take the mediocre products and add interesting ads to them, and washed their hands and say, we can’t do anything about what the factory brings us."

Nicely put.

Found via Katie Kempner's podcasting site on Advertising & PR, which led me to the blog of John Winsor (Cultural Radar Operator at Crispin Porter + Bogusky), which pointed me to the wise words on Seth's site.

September 27, 2007

Genuine Horseballs

Here's Bannerblog's Logo o'the Day:


Finally, is all I have to say. I have just about had it with inferior imitation Horseball products, it's about time we had some genuine ones.

And genuine logo too. Check out the great video and read more about Horseballs over at this site.

Note I'm posting this in the "Buzzwords" category. I hope it catches on.

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