Communications services leader Blue Star has today announced a new partnership with Toys“R”Us.
The two brands have pioneered an Australian-first with an advanced augmented reality (AR) experience and movie-making app, which is bringing Easter to life for kids of all ages in a retail environment.
The virtual Easter Egg Hunt will work on any iOS or Android device and will see smartphone and tablet users interact with Toys“R”Us mascot Geoffrey the Giraffe and his Easter bunny friends, leading them on a virtual adventure through the store to find Geoffrey’s Playground.
Characters will appear to be bouncing around the store in the augmented space. Once the playground is reached, kids can create a short video through the app dancing alongside their virtual friends, and redeem a Free Treat1. The mini movie of the experience can then be shared on social media using #TRUMagic.
Toys“R”Us Chief Toy Tester, 10 year old Stephanie Apoleski, demonstrated the #TRUMagic experience here:
National marketing manager Toys“R”Us Australia, Brooklyn Troy, said that rolling out its first augmented-reality play experience was part of the company’s key strategic focus as kids become increasingly technologically savvy.
“We wanted to push the boundaries with our in-store Easter experience this year, and we’ve created something which is sure to be a winning experience for anyone coming into a Toys“R”Us store,” she said. “The ability to interact with the surroundings using augmented reality and our smart devices means we can bring our Easter Hunt to life, and see Geoffrey the Giraffe and his bouncing Easter bunnies, all in 4D.
“We also wanted to make it possible for parents and children to be able to share this experience with friends by adding an AR-movie making element to the TRU Magic App” said Troy.
David Francis, head of interactive at Blue Star, the team behind the idea and experience, commented: “We are delighted to partner with Toys“R”Us to create a dynamic and engaging campaign, pioneering new experiences for Australians. The opportunities of augmented reality are huge – the experience is literally turning the Toys“R”Us stores into a virtual theme park, with kids and families spending quality leisure time, interacting with their favourite characters. They can then jump into the experience, and dance alongside Geoffrey and friends whilst creating their own video content to take with them and share on social platforms.”
Az Yousaf, Blue Star’s digital services director, added: “The TRU Magic experience promises to be fantastic Easter fun, but it is also the first in what we expect will be a major trend towards Augmented Reality campaigns in bricks and mortar retail environments. The solution that we came up with leverages the huge number of comm’s that Toys “R” Us have in place including catalogues, social and email marketing, and drives that audience into store. We believe this technology will become a key component of the marketing plans for Australia’s leading companies. Augmented reality is a particularly powerful tool for creating retail experiences that surprise and delight customers in equal measure.”