i-Free Delivers Augmented Reality Service for TARGET MEDIA
OREANDA-NEWS. February 09, 2012. “Ponchball” is a game and a service using the Augmented Reality technology, developed by i-Free for TARGET MEDIA communications group. With Ponchball, the agency will greet its clients in style on any holidays for a whole year.
Augmented Reality (AR) is an ideal technology for all kinds of unusual and exciting WOW services. i-Free, which was one of the pioneers of AR products and services in Eastern Europe, has by now created numerous AR products for different applications in daily life and in business.
Most recently, i-Free was commissioned by TARGET MEDIA, a communications group, to develop a service for unusual holiday greetings to its clients. The game “Ponchball,” created by i-Free, is a service that combines web technology and Augmented Reality technology. The agency has successfully trialed the game over the Christmas Season, and plans to use it to greet its clients on other holidays as well.
The project was built around a certain 2012 tabletop calendar, which TARGET MEDIA had mailed to its clients as a Season’s gift. The calendar bears the agency’s slogan for the year: “Try TARGET MEDIA!”, and its every page carries the TARGET MEDIA logo featuring all kinds of delicious food.
There is an AR mark inside the calendar, which activates “Ponchball” – a virtual game TARGET MEDIA clients can play and win free boxes of very real “ponchiki” (doughnuts) from the agency.
“Why doughnuts, of all things? It’s simple… They are taboo for many people. But when we were kids, we could eat as many of them as we liked,” commented Olga Grishakova, Art Director at TARGET MEDIA’s Artichoke creative studio. “This is a metaphor of what we offer our clients: the most delicious, most tempting things for aggressive business growth – top-notch media services and creative ideas at reasonable prices. This philosophy is embedded in our slogan and in the “Ponchball” game, which we developed in partnership with i-Free. With this AR game, greetings become a spectacular, memorable event everyone will enjoy. Doughnuts are a great gift for any holiday.”
To activate “Ponchball,” you are supposed to go to 2012.target-media.ru, press “Start Game” and align the AR mark on the calendar with the webcam. The game interface onscreen – a doughnut, a box, a timer and a counter – will overlay the real cam picture.
The idea of the game is to toss the doughnuts inside the box, steering them with the calendar. The box will change its position onscreen, shifting left to right and back. The game is timed. The winner is whoever takes the least time filling the box up with doughnuts.
When the game is won, a gift box tied with a ribbon will move to the foreground, and the winner will be asked to leave their contact info for TARGET MEDIA to deliver a gift box of real doughnuts.
“Such innovative mobile marketing tools as augmented reality are increasingly popular today with companies who wish to surprise their clients or partners,” said Renata Gulienko, project leader from the i-Free side, commenting on the new service. “Opportunities are enormous for AR technology, which can assist in creating truly original products and WOW services that will put a person or company in a league by itself. We are very pleased that our competencies in innovation can help Russian businesses come up with such fabulous marketing solutions employing the latest technology.”