Domino's UK dabbles in augmented reality marketing

There are Domino's Pizza posters displayed at more than 6,000 sites across Britain that include an augmented reality (AR) feature allowing customers to download deals, get the company's mobile ordering app and become a Facebook fan.

After downloading the AR app, created by UK-based Blippar, users can then look at the six-sheet posters through the camera on their smartphone (or tablet). The posters then display different images that "jump" off the page, including local menus.

Domino's AR application was created specifically for its 555 deal, which offers any three or more 9½-inch pizzas for £5.55 each.

"We're always looking for innovative new ways to engage with our customers using the latest technology. This exciting new campaign with Blippar provides us with a great opportunity not only to communicate a good pizza deal, but also to engage with users by offering them information specific to their local store and other features just for mobile users. With sites up and down the country, we're looking forward to pizza lovers blipping it where they live to get more from our posters," said Nick Dutch, multimedia manager at Domino's UK.

Blippar claims it's the world's first mobile augmented reality and image recognition platform enabling advertisers to reach consumers. The company was launched in the summer of 2011 and has also created AR campaigns for brands such as Heinz, Nestle and Guinness.

Augmented reality technology exists on computers, smartphones and tablets and overlays the camera's view of the real world to add a new virtual experience. According to Mashable, AR is one of the five top technology trends to watch for in 2012.

New research from Visiongain complements that prediction, claiming that mobile augmented reality (MAR) will expand exponentially from 2011 to 2016. By the end of the forecast period MAR will still be in a growth phase, with a market worth valued in the billions and occupying a 25 percent share of all application downloads.

Currently the Domino's augmented reality app is best compatible with the iPhone 3GS. It is in beta testing for the Android, and Blippar's Twitter page said it hopes to be available across multiple channels this year. To non-Blippar users, the poster simply shows Domino's current 555 deal.

AR feature to boost online sales

The AR posters are expected to help in the continued growth of online and mobile sales for Domino's. This week, the company's UK and Ireland division reported a sales increase of 9.5 percent for the last quarter of 2011, compared to the same period last year.

Domino's, which operates 726 pizza delivery stores across the UK, Ireland and Germany, said online sales for the three months to Dec. 31 increased by 40 percent to 53.1 million pounds, while orders from mobile devices continued to rise and now account for 13 percent of total orders.

Check out Blippar's recent holiday-themed AR campaign for Guinness.

Read more about mobile marketing.

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