Sony swings into mobile web AR with 'Spider-Verse' experience
- Sony Pictures is promoting the release of the animated movie "Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse" with a mobile web augmented reality (AR) experience that doesn't require users to download an app, according to a statement shared with Mobile Marketer.
- The AR features let users tap their phone screens to see a digital version of Spider-Man and take pictures with the superhero that can be shared on social media. The AR experience is available at a specialized website that only works with a smartphone or tablet.
- The "Spider-Verse Web AR Experience" was produced by AR agency Trigger, using technology from 8th Wall Web and Amazon Sumerian running on Amazon Web Services. "Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse" will be in theaters nationwide on Dec. 14.
By opting for a mobile website instead of a standalone app, Sony Pictures' AR experience to promote the animated “Spider-Man” movie could reach a wider group of smartphone users than other similar efforts. As such, the effort points to how brands continue to experiment with AR to find immersive experiences capable of driving results. Previously, Sony released an AR app called "Ghostbusters World" while Warner Bros. promoted "Rampage" and Universal promoted "Jurassic World" with downloadable AR games. The AR experience is also a step up from Sony's 2017 campaign around "Spider-Man: Homecoming" that relied on VR and digital billboard technology.
AR has been a key part of movie promotions and videogame tie-ins this year, especially after Apple and Google created software tools to help developers create AR experiences for smartphone users. Along with its "Jurassic World Alive" AR game, Universal Pictures created an AR promotion for the DVD release of "Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom" on Facebook. And it wasn't just movie studios: Theater chain Regal Entertainment partnered with Moviebill, a print publication similar to the classic Playbill, that moviegoers could scan with a smartphone to activate AR tie-ins with films.
The AR experience is part of Sony's push for a No. 1 spot at the box office during the weekend of December 14-16, when it opens against steampunk thriller “Mortal Engines” and Clint Eastwood’s “The Mule,” according to the Hollywood Reporter. Aside from being easier to engage users, the new campaign also has the power to go viral as fans share pictures alongside Spider-Man with their friends on social media.