Visitors to Covent Garden can experience the Christmas shopping spree of the future this festive season as the area transforms into the world’s first augmented reality (AR) retail district in partnership with pioneering AR and visual discovery app Blippar and Hearst Magazines UK.
The Blippar activation in Covent Garden over the Christmas period will be the largest showcase of the impact of AR technology and gamification ever attempted in one location, creating immersive experiences that will transform brand loyalty and increase footfall, dwell time and revenue.
Today the activation launches across the one million sq ft Covent Garden estate in over 140 participating stores and restaurants.
To help Covent Garden’s shoppers discover the perfect gifts in the lead up to Christmas, Hearst Magazines UK has collaborated with Blippar to create bespoke interactive AR beauty and fashion gift guides unique to the shopping district. For the next six weeks, top style editors from three of Hearst’s brands – Esquire, ELLE and Cosmopolitan will be working with over 35 retailers within Covent Garden to recommend their favourite product gifting selection, which can be discovered exclusively through the Blippar app.
Gamification elements to the campaign include giving visitors to Covent Garden the ability to ‘bring to life’ a digital reindeer which will amaze users of the Blippar app as it appears to ‘fly’ above their heads.
Duncan Chater, Chief Revenue Officer at Hearst Magazines UK, says: “…we are constantly exploring new ways to innovate and push our content through new platforms to expand our reach. We understand where audiences are, what they want to consume and how they want to engage. We are really excited to be working in partnership with a leader in mobile augmented reality, and one of London’s most famous shopping destinations on such a unique project.”