Augmented Reality (AR) is a disruptive technology and while it is been getting adopted by several industries, for the entertainment sector, it comes with a unique solution to engage and interact with the audience much before the film hits the screen. Cinema is one of the most powerful mediums of entertainment and engagement. With an overwhelming number of movies releasing every week, production houses have to work really hard to get the attention, engage them to consume the content, eventually converting into a sale.
Recently, innovative markets and production houses have started using augmented reality (AR) and extended reality (XR) as part of their marketing strategy. Production houses with big-budget superheroes release standalone movie apps and mobile games to generate the buzz around and increase the familiarity and craze of the characters among fans and audiences. For instance, the makers of ‘Deadpool’ tied up with 7-Eleven for the promotion of ‘Deadpool 2’. Customers of 7-Eleven across the globe were able to open the store’s app and get a guided tour of an AR version of Deadpool (Ryan Reynolds) himself.
There are many such innovations on the rise and used in promoting movies. Among them, the newest and most disruptive invention is “Video XR”.
When a user engages himself in entertainment videos, his/her subtle mind creates thoughts and fires up beliefs and spurs emotions thus leading to an interest. The level of involvement in the content and increased dwell time leads to a call to action. In order to make this happen, VideoXR makes the user part of the video that is used in the web or other mediums? This revolutionary technology of merging users into the video acting is called “Video XR”, a proprietary technology developed by AugRay.
Before leveraging such technologies at a massive scale like big-budget movie promotions, it is necessary to ask a question – Is the industry ready to adopt them? An absolute yes! The movie industry is an early adopter of disruptive technologies has been adopting XR for the past five-plus years. The XR adoption has increased significantly since the early 2019 and is expected to rise further in 2020.
Here are a few Bollywood movies which adopted XR recently;
- Fox Star Studios for ‘Sanju’ used AR and the first Bollywood filter to reach 500,000 impressions within a week and ultimately reaching 1.7 million people.
- Excel Entertainment for ‘Gold’ starring Mouni Roy and Akshay Kumar enabled the actors to try AR filter together to promote their movie.
- Dharma/Lyca Productions for ‘2.0’ became the fastest filter to reach 3 million impressions within 36 hours and gained a lot of media coverage, using the AR filter.
- The film poster of the recent box-office hit “Super 30”, starring Hrithik Roshan, who used the AR feature which gave the audience a virtual tour of the Super 30 classroom with Hrithik’s character welcoming the filter user.
Most of these were successful not just because of top-tier actors, but the XR technology used was a lightweight that does not call for an app download and is instant.
Additionally, besides self-serving options using consumer phones, other avenues such as sensor-based BTL campaigns were used through Interactive Kiosk.
With interactive kiosks powered by sensors and immersive experience, movie studios today have found another way to promote their films. For instance, Edge of Tomorrow, starring Tom Cruise and Emily Blunt produced by Warner Bros ran an innovative AR campaign in the Netherlands and Spain to promote the film. Many augmented reality screens were placed inside bus shelters in major cities in the Netherlands and Spain to attract the attention of people while they waited for their bus. People could choose to virtually sport three types of armor worn by the main characters of the film, besides three different backgrounds inspired by the film.
In-Store and Home AR Experiences
Universal Studios for Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom provided augmented reality effects for exclusive in-store and in-home experiences featuring many of the film’s remarkable dinosaurs. By using their phone, fans of the franchise globally experienced an exceptional and quite distinguished AR effect from the packaging, when they purchased the film.
While the list of adoption has increased significantly, Bollywood, one of the biggest entertainment industries in the world has started to pursue XR as part of its strategy to take advantage of the first movers.
Why Video XR?
Before ‘Why’, if you still have not understood what is VideoXR: It is nothing but users taking a selfie of themselves and instantly (maybe 5 to 20 seconds) uploading it as the content which subsequently puts them into the video, making the user part of it. This is by far the best example of an engaging advertisement that is personalized, context-sensitive, increases dwell time leading to consumer network access of friends and family and much more at the same time. It generates consumer-generated content with users’ self-promotion leading to virality and subsequently generating better sales. In short, we believe, this will be a disruptive medium to produce results compared to the current investment that takes place in marketing through videos (TV and digital). All of these can be done using a mobile web-link and there is no need for any type of app. This makes the execution easier for the user while taking action in few clicks and less than 5 seconds.
Here is the First Adoption of Such Kind by the Bollywood Industry
A one of its kind in the XR industry, AugRay helped Jio Studios to launch a promotional campaign to promote the film ‘Made in China’, which went viral on social media with numerous engagements. For, Jio Studio’s promotion of their audio over social media platforms, AugRay developed a Video XR platform that completely transformed the users dancing along with the movie-stars instantly. It also enabled users to invite their friends to be part of the group garbha (a type of dance) along with the actors of the movie (Rajkummar Rao and Mouni Roy). This led to better promotion of the audio and the movie with fewer efforts made in marketing spends, as the users would invite friends and family and spread across their social media. The beauty is that this technology can just be forwarded and consumed with no app installations using WhatsApp or Facebook or other social media platforms. It requires just a link or an image to click. With a proven case study, we believe this VideoXR technology is another disruptive avenue that can be expected to get adopted by the masses soon.
The Future Ahead
Conventionally, the movie industry is bound to spend a significant amount of money over promotions as a result of increasing competition. To make more and more money with smart investments, production houses are seeking opportunities to turn digital in context to promotional activities.
Movie marketing has witnessed tremendous innovation in the past years, especially with the rise of immersive technologies. Filmmakers and marketers are free to leverage non-conventional techniques such as live streaming of launches using XR, 360-degree marketing campaigns, XR events, XR mobile games, interactive posts on social media, XR way of funky behind-the-scenes content of the films to promote their movie before release. In particular, Video XR represents itself as one of the most promising platforms that can significantly help studios and production houses offer an interactive and more immersive experience for box-office success. It enables consumers to lead to easier adoption at their convenience.
AugRay which is pioneering the XR technology since 2013, uses a proprietary technology developed over years of experience in human face and other AI tools to address businesses that have invested in celebrity endorsement and are willing to conduct promotions through videos to make the best use of it. If you are a business investing in celebrities of any kind, this is an option you should explore to get your returns amplified with a small amount of investment.