Augmented Reality (AR), the ability to add a layer of images and information over real world locations, usually captured using a video camera or smartphone, has long been the geek’s toy and sci-fi fantasy. It’s practical uses are currently limited to social networking or toys, but virtual coupon platform iButterfly is showing how this idea can be used for successfully profitable ends.
Developed by Japanese advertising company Dentsu Inc., together with AR and mobile app developer Cherrypicks, the concept and practice behind iButterfly is simple. A customer installs and runs the app on their Android or iOS smartphone and points the camera at a virtual butterfly and shakes the phone to catch the butterfly. This grants the customer a virtual coupon that she can exchange for freebies, discounts, or other promos from the store making use of the platform. Recently, SM Malls, one of the Philippines‘ leading mall chains, received an industry award for its brilliant marketing strategy, which made use of the iButterfly platform. In Thailand, Watsons just announced its first ever digital campaign, also using iButterfly. Customers can catch the Watsons Wink butterfly to receive coupons worth 5 to 20 bahts.
iButterfly also demonstrates growing trend of businesses making use of gamification, the use of game elements and game thinking to increase user participation and satisfaction. Cherrypicks CEO Jason Chiu comments that with gamified processes, consumers get to spend more time and attention on the strategy, creating a strong brand loyalty. Matt Briant, mobile platform regional director for Dentsu, believes that platforms like iButterfly that improve user experience and convenience is the future of mobile marketing.[ via Digital Market Asia ]