Tis' the season to be jolly (and-to-al​so-make-us​e-of-sophi​sticated-t​echnology-​for-market​ing-purpos​es)

How's that for a snappy title?

Yes, I have been injected with a combination of verbosity and some good old jolly festive spirit.

Whilst some of this can be put down to the last few days of imbibing, eating and receiving more pairs of socks than a man will ever need, a tiny part of my happiness should be attributed to a strong trend observed in the run up to the holiday season.

Because during this frenzied time we saw some eye-catching campaigns emerge from global brands. These were designed to lure us in and elicit a good feeling" about both company and experience. And I think some of them worked well.

As campaigns they often capitalized on the consumer's own devices, downloading neatly and allowing users to engage with the campaign in various hotspots - either within store or at home. Augmented reality - yes those two buzz words that are the stuff of marketers dreams - featured heavily and was applied in a fun and often meaningful way.

Here are some prime examples of what I am talking about:

eBay Give-a-toy store

This was a clever corporate social responsibility (CSR) strategy for eBay - aligning their brand with the act of donating to a worthy cause. All users had to do was interact with QR codes and by the simple click of a button they could donate whatever they could afford. The visual feedback provided by interactive character animation is a nice, warming touch.

This is seamless and an approach that could work well year round.

Maybe then the streets (at least of the UK) would be rid of "chuggers".
For those unaware of the chugger experience:
1) count yourself lucky and
2) Imagine being accosted as you walk down a high street to sign up for a charity - by about 6 young adults all vying for your attention and making you feel guilty for studiously avoiding eye contact.

[View:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yw1u40g5qH8]

 

Macy's Believe

Augmented reality for kids. No really, it is. This is a sophisticated way of interacting with some characters and taking a memento of the experience away for keeps. It's cute, it's interactive and it encourages customers to get in store.

[View:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xvzRXy3J0Z0]

campaign page: http://macys.com/believe

 

That's just two....there are many more and I would be interested to see what stood out for you marketing wise this holiday season.

To close, I think the reason why I wanted to blog about these particular campaigns was partly because:

a) They genuinely bought a smile to my face; and
b) They prove that technology can indeed be fun. Users don't necessarily need to know how it all works, what the back end looks like and what code gets involved when creating such experiences. In fact I would wager £100 on them not even caring. It's about the experience and what they get out of it emotionally and functionally.

Remember that the next time you get bogged down in the the minutiae of mobile, PC, tablet and software creation.

A (belated) Happy Holidays!