Bands, brands, businesses and organizations are unlocking the benefits of AR inclusion for increased engagement
Organizations of every size and type are constantly searching for ways to stand apart from the crowd. I had the unique opportunity to test the PictAR system with a recent repress of Boys Night Out’s album “Trainwreck.” The band broke up years ago, but we are lucky enough to still have a very supportive fan base. This support is what made the BNO/PictAR collaboration such a huge success.
Formulating a plan
Augmented reality (AR) is a great way to increase engagement, but coming up with an experience for a punk band was challenging. What would Boys Night Out fans respond to? Would anyone scan the QR Code? How would fans react? I learned long ago that keeping things simple is usually the best approach, so that’s what we did. We decided make a simple video of me saying thank you and asking for feedback. The “thank you” was two-fold in this instance because I’m also one of the PictAR Digital Media founders. I was saying thank you to Boys Night Out fans for buying the record, and for testing out PictAR.
The other part of the plan involved the ability to update and push new video content to a PictAR. I mentioned this unique property in my AR Video Message, and promised to update the PictAR with BNO news, contests and miscellaneous content.
Designing the Boys Night Out experience
This part was a lot of fun. Almost anything can be used as an AR trigger, so for Boys Night Out we chose to use a sticker. I have been designing band merch since the early 90s and this this was right in my wheelhouse. I also happen to work with a very talented crew, and we were able to collaborate on the overall design. The final product included a Boys Night Out branded sticker – complete with the band’s logo as the QR Code – tucked into a black photo sleeve to resemble a small record.
Deploying the Boys Night Out PictAR
Market testing a new product can be stressful. PictAR’s MVP had just been realized, and we needed a way to get it into the hands of as many people as possible. Boys Night Out’s fanbase and the cooperation of Parting Gift Records/Take This To Heart Records is what made this particular test such a great success. The highly anticipated 2nd pressing of “Trainwreck” was limited to 1000 copies. The presale sold out in minutes. We were able to send a PictAR with each one.
Increased engagement and feedback
Boys Night Out and PictAR Digital Media received positive feedback as soon as people received their records. BNO fans appreciated the personal message and the uniqueness of the experience. There was an increase in web traffic to social media accounts and websites for both organizations. Fans shared and posted about their Boys Night Out augmented reality experiences while also expressing excitement to receive future video updates. The band responded to feedback by creating and posting a meme campaign to their Instagram account in order to help guide and enrich the experience.
Important takeaways and insights
The inclusion of an augmented reality experience added value to the purchase of an item which fans were already excited about. The PictAR served to create a means for the band to interact with fans. They use the platform to release content which is unavailable anywhere else. As WebAR experiences become more prevalent, we expect to see a rise in the number of organizations eager to adopt the technology.
BNO PictAR v2.0 is available for purchase here: https://pictar.app/product/boys-night-out-v2/