ARCHIVES: This is legacy content from before Industry Dive acquired Mobile Marketer in early 2017. Some information, such as publication dates, may not have migrated over. Check out the new Mobile Marketer site for the latest mobile marketing news.

Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County taps augmented reality to drive interaction

The Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County is using augmented reality in its posters throughout the city to offer consumers exclusive content and prizes.

?To celebrate its centennial anniversary year, the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County has partnered with Blippar to bring four different NHM 100 posters to life,? said Lisa Hu, vice president of business development, North America at Blippar. 

?When visitors blipp the images, they unlock an interactive 3D experience and are able to take their picture with a T. Rex and share it with friends,? she said. ?By creating a memorable way to interact with its target audience, the museum is driving its association with fun, interactive discovery.

?And, by layering in an incentive to blipp ? as each user who uses the app will receive a discounted admission offer and sweepstakes entry ? potential patrons have yet another reason to stop by the Museum for their next family outing.?

Driving engagement
To interact with the posters, users can download the Blippar mobile app.

From there, users can hover their smartphone device over any of the posters so that the image fills the screen.

Then, the 3D experience begins.

While in the application, visitors are encouraged to click through several options including a feature where users can take a photo with a T. Rex, and share it with friends.

As an incentive, each user will also get a discounted admission offer and entry into a sweepstakes with prizes that include free family memberships and NHM merchandise.

The grand prize is a night at the museum sleepover and behind-the-scenes VIP tour with three friends.

?There?s a perfect synergy between the Natural History Museum and Blippar ? we?re both all about discovering new things and creating exciting interactive experiences,? Ms. Hu said. ?For example, when users blipp the T. Rex poster, they can click on the arrows to read more about the dinosaur specimen that?s housed at the museum, and they?re prompted to visit the exhibit in person to learn more.

?These stunning augmented reality images enable us to bridge the gap between the past and the future, essentially breathing life into creatures that are now extinct,? he said. ?We believe we?re creating wow moments that will resonate with all ages, sparking both curiosity and wonder.?

Word of mouth
Both companies are getting the word out about the mobile effort throughout the Los Angeles area by posting four different designs on posters and postcards, which can be found all over the city, including at the museum, at several Westfield and at local schools and libraries.

Moreover, visitors are encouraged to pick up their free poster while visiting the museum or to check out the images online.

?We?re looking forward to building on our momentum in the U.S. and partnering with a wide range of companies and organizations,? Ms. Hu said. ?Our goal is ? and will continue to be ? to make blipp the next verb in our vernacular and synonymous with the experience of instantly unlocking something valuable from the static, physical world simply by looking at it through a smart device.

?We?re continuing to improve the speed and the breadth of our image-recognition platform while enhancing the user experience on the Blippar app,? she said.

Final Take
Rimma Kats is associate editor on Mobile Marketer, New York