Love me? Love me not? M&S uses AR for Valentines Day

The Marks and Spencer Valentine’s day Aurasma campaign seems to have had mixed reactions. Using an outdoor poster in Waterloo Station, users are invited to download the Aursama app and view their range of lingerie. The concept is clever and is the best executed Aurasma campaign to date. Ostensibly aimed at men who are short of a Valentine’s gift (although it is likely to appeal to women as well), the advert uses the tagline ‘Love stuck’. The approach makes sense. We know from QR codes that men are more likely to scan than women and the location of the poster in Waterloo ensures sufficient dwell time to interact with it. Using the Aurasma app, the poster almost literally comes to life as models show off the underwear range.

There have been some, arguably prudish, reactions against an app that has women prancing around in their underwear. On a practical level though, users have had problems scanning the poster. Aurasma doesn’t seem to work as well as the other popular IR app, Blippar. The high position of the poster in Waterloo also makes the scanning even harder. The problem with mobile is that users won’t tolerate poor experiences before branding it as a fail.

Similar in concept to Net A Porter’s Window Shop, a campaign like this only reaches a limited audience. But it’s not about reach. These are essentially PR exercises and perhaps a test of the potential of consumer engagement of the technology. To date M&S have taken a more classic, but very successful approach to mobile, focussing on SMS and mobile web. It’s good to see them experimenting a bit.

If you want to see it in action, then scan the image below, or you can read more about their campaign here.

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