- Saban Brands's "Power Rangers" is celebrating its 25th year on TV with a campaign that features browser-based mobile ads that open into an augmented reality (AR) experience, according to a press release shared with Mobile Marketer. The "You've Got the Power" ads let fans "try on" Power Ranger helmets in a selfie similar to the AR masks and filters on social media apps like Snapchat and Instagram.
- The Power Rangers ads work in mobile web browsers for iOS and Android devices, so smartphone users don't have to download a standalone app to interact with the AR features. Viewers can snap a screen grab of the selfies to share on the RangerNation.com website or on social media.
- Saban Brands, which has the rights to the Power Rangers franchise, created the ads with immersive ad startup Vertebrae. The duo plans more digital promotions for the Power Rangers in the coming months leading up to Aug. 28, the official anniversary date. The "Mighty Morphin Power Rangers" premiered in 1993 and the franchise has been continuously on the air since.
AR-equipped ads continue to grow increasingly popular as the tech develops and users become more accustomed to interacting with the immersive features. This is especially true among entertainment brands looking to widen their reach through mobile devices and drum up excitement for a new show, movie or other entertainment content. Saban and Vertebrae smartly leveraged the mobile web for these ads, allowing users to interact with the fun AR features without experiencing the friction of needing to go to the App Store or Google Play and download an app. This will likely extend the reach of the efforts to a greater number of users across any connected mobile device, not just ones that run iOS or Android.
Janet Hsu, the CEO of Saban Brands, said the company sought to do something innovative with emerging technologies while reaching a mass audience, instead of a handful of early adopters or people who own a particular brand of smartphone, per Variety.
Meanwhile, other entertainment companies are looking to AR to help boost buzz around premieres and other events. Universal Pictures last year partnered with VR developer OmniVirt to promote "Pitch Perfect 3" with AR-equipped banners targeted at fans and holiday movie-goers. That campaign urged fans to create branded AR selfies to share with their friends on social media. The banners saw 10x the number of interactions and click-through rates of 2-D versions, highlighting the power of AR to engage audiences for a longer period.