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Animation Ireland

Five Interesting Facts about Animation Industry in Ireland: Animation Ireland

By AnimationNo Comments

History of the Animation industry in Ireland

Animation in Ireland has a rather grand and rather rich history. It has paved the way for the industry of animation Ireland to become a front runner in the world of animation today. As of now, we are battling with huge animation markets coming out of the United States, Canada, Japan, China, France, Korea and Germany. But how did it all start? When did it all begin? We will discuss all of that in this part of the article.

If you dig deep enough, you’ll unearth the roots of Animation in Ireland and that is indeed a fascinating backstory. In a way, the history of animation in Ireland could be compared to a new car with an old engine. It offered a lot of promise at the start but broke down before it even got going. It’s certainly a very different story today, being the excellent success in animation that it is. But nonetheless, like lots of other great things, Irish animation didn’t have an amazing start. If you look at the early animations coming out of Ireland, they looked pretty weak, even when compared to the poorly executed live-action movies that were being produced back then. It gives us insights about old live-action films, but even more so about the animation industry.

One worthy exception would be the work produced by non-other than James Horgan in the late nineteenth century. He was a passionate man interested in movie making. After buying a Lumiere camera, he started his own exhibition company named ‘moving picture’. It was done for the South in order to give respect to his fans and audience. This wasn’t just a lucky break. He went on to become one of the first people to experiment with Polaroid film.

After that, he began to work on animations that used a stop motion framework, around the year 1909. And the fact that the 1st ever animation was created in 1906 makes this feat even more admirable. He was able to make a few great movies using animation techniques. His most known and probably most loved piece was the “Dancing Youghal Clock Tower.”

But like many other pioneering Irish film attempts during those hard times, Horgan’s work proved to be in vain. Experiments by Irish newbies and film clubs overshadowed his work in a way. Regardless of all that Horgan still remains a millstone in the history of animation Ireland.

Another historical milestone in Irish animation was in the 1950s: when a selection of Government bodies commissioned a series of short animated films.

Then if we take the 1960s, there are two landmark occasions that really stood out above the rest: the creation of Radio Teilifis Eireann and the development of Gunter Wolfe’s studio.

The evolution of animation in Ireland should have maintained this level of production – a level that was quite different from many of the other European nations. It was a sign of the potential to take animation in Ireland beyond its highest expectations and to create a foundation for the growth that we have since seen and will likely continue to see for the years to come.

Increasing growth in animation in Ireland

The Irish animation industry has always been a creative contributor to Ireland’s brilliant film industry for a very long time and has witnessed considerable growth in the last decade. It is a continuous and essential component of both Ireland’s digital economy and creative economy, having created around 1,600 full-time jobs.

An Important reason behind that is the concept and representation of “Animation Ireland.” As we stated earlier, ‘Animation Ireland’ is the process of Irish animation studios working to promote and spread Ireland’s world-class animation sector globally. Irish animation studios are in connection & ongoing work with some of the most notable names in international broadcasting—including BBC, Disney, Cartoon Network, Nickelodeon, and the Cartoon Network — creating animated shows that are broadcasted to millions of children all over the globe every week. Award-winning shows and shorts, animated programming for grownups, applications, and games are being made here by Ireland’s proactive, technically advanced—and entirely local—3D and 2D studios.

Exactly Just a decade ago, there were only 70 individuals as full-time employers in animation in Ireland. In this small space of time, there is now over 20 times that number working in the industry. Ireland now owns a flourishing and highly productive animation industry that has gained global recognition on the international scale; a feat established by the fact that in 2016, Cartoon Forum—one of the world’s dominating pitching and co-pro forums for animation—had a particular focus placed on Ireland at the event.

Culture of animation Ireland

As we previously discussed, Animation Ireland represents the industry itself. It was formally launched in 2016 with the straightforward aim of increasing the profile of Irish animation studios globally—and promoting Ireland as the best destination on earth to get animated content created.

Leading players/companies in the Ireland animation industry

Some of the leading players in the industry in Ireland included productions like Brown Bag Films and Salty Dog Pictures.

If we consider Brown Bag Films – Brown Bag Films, or Brown Bag, is an Irish TV animation production studio, based in Dublin, Ireland. It is owned by Canadian television studio 9 Story Media Group with a 3D and 2D facilities based in Manchester, U.K., and Toronto, Canada. Best known for its character CGI-animated TV show and short films, including the Oscar-nominated, Give Up Yer Aul Sins, and Granny O’Grimm’s Sleeping Beauty, Brown Bag Films was established in 1994 by Cathal Gaffney and Darragh O’Connell.

Examples of Ireland’s Animation Success

One of the sector’s most substantial successes is Doc McStuffins, a series that is owned by Disney but designed, directed, and animated proudly by Brown Bag Films. This show makes over $1bn per year in Licensing revenue.

More recent successes include Oscar-nominated Song of the Sea (Cartoon Saloon), BAFTA-nominated Go Jetters (Boulder Media), box office sensation Two by Two (Motion Films) and award-winner Roy (JAM Media). Anticipated from the twice Oscar-nominated Cartoon Saloon is Nora Twomey’s The Breadwinner, executive produced by Angelina Jolie.

Sources of Funding

The industry reviews funding from several ways, including RTE, the Irish Film Board – which usually contributes about 15pc of the yearly development and production budgets of the animation sector – and the Broadcasting Association of Ireland, which provide 8pc of its development and production budget to the animation sector.

Animation Ireland


The future of animation in Ireland is when compared to other countries, in a good shape, but like all things, it could always be better. With more convenient access to better and cheaper employment as well as technological advances, more excellent opportunities for better work are possible. As it is the skills and the facilities are there to produce anything from a full feature to a T.V. advert. This and the “natural” convergence, which seems unstoppable between animated special effects and live-action cinema, allows for a lot of expansion and future opportunities.

However, this writer believes that there are two factors that are slowing down the most exciting possibilities for growth and development. They are the Irish animators that bail and head overseas to work in bigger animation studios. We need to maintain relationships and become more collaborative so that we can retain some of the very best of our Irish talent, even if they do decide to get the boat. This will help us to consistently maintain the standards of animation excellence that we are reaching today. Not only for the sake of animation Ireland but the animation industry globally. We are likely to see Irish animation go from strength to strength in the years to come.

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Augmented Reality Windows

Augmented Reality Windows: The Retail Display Of The Future

By Augmented RealityNo Comments

Augmented Reality Windows: The Retail Display Of The Future

AR windows are interactive displays that have shown to increase engagement, footfall and sales.

There has always been one issue that has plagued out of home media like billboards, bus shelter and other static advertising media and that is that there’s no real way to measure the effectiveness of the ad and if it actually worked. It just isn’t possible to work out specifically how many people have seen a piece of OOH and how many of those people went in store or online to make a purchase. Well now with the advent of AR windows this may no longer be such an issue for brands. These augmented reality displays are able to track analytical data completely in real time.

What Are Augmented Reality Windows?

Augmented reality windows, just like the ones that are being offered by Ads Reality, look as though they are just a normal advertising video display. However, they are a lot more than just that. These AR displays use augmented reality to provide passers by with an interactive experience that can also then encourage them to enter a store or else visit an online shop.

The AR window works very simply. It doesn’t require any special apps for it to work. A good move as people are always going to be less likely to go installing apps from agencies they’ve never heard of. AR windows function solely though the WIFI. And it doesn’t need that much. It can literally just run off a free public connection.

augmented reality window

How Does An AR Window Work?

There is 3 different interactive experiences that can be programmed in to be offers to anyone who passes by:

Character Engagement

In this AR experience known characters such as cartoons, superheroes or even public figures appear in the display and appear to be moving around as if they were one of the passer’s by. People can step into the view of the AR window and snap some shots of them with the AR characters.

Interactive Games

These interactive AR games are excellent for attracting foot fall towards shop windows, events and other public venues. They really can garner a lot of attention and their very nature ensures engagement with a high shareability. These AR games are fully customised to mirror on going branded promotional campaigns and usually involve some sort of call to action and sign up.

Enhanced Product Engagement

This type of thing is just absolutely perfect for our modern age were people are simply too busy to be flicking through leaflets or browsing a catalogue. These AR windows can offer up helpful information or technical details about products in an interesting and engaging way. Video tutorials, special offers and promotions can all be included into these AR experiences. All with the aim of increasing conversions.

These new forms of interactive digital media are going to pave the way that retail marketing will need to tread in this ever-changing digital world, where mobile devices are king and attention spans are shortening. At the end of the day the mobile has been the primary device for shopping and browsing for many years now.

Main Benefits and Features of these New Augmented Reality Displays

These AR displays are not your average AR displays either. These are truly unique and totally different to the other ones that you may have already seen being used in different in store promotional activities. The key difference with these AR displays is that they are able to transmit analytical data completely in real time. What this means is that it can allow a campaign manager to observe the successfulness of the ad and make tweaks as they go if certain ads are not performing.

AR Window Specific Features:

  • app-less interaction. This enables a higher potential reach among passers by the augmented reality window.
  • shop-on-screen technology built in for people who are swayed to make purchases there and then.
  • Ads Reality provide an end-to-end service for all of their AR Windows

This AR display has already been shown at this year’s NFR Retail Show in New York, as well as being exhibited at the Las Vegas Digital Signage Expo. Some of the main benefits shown from using these AR Displays are:

  • Increase in store visitors
  • Deeper interactions with potential customers
  • Increase in sales
  • Increase in brand reach
  • Increased shareability and awareness
  • Increase in brand sentiment

This newly released augmented reality display is going to soon become the new reality for retail brands who understand the future and are looking to advertise retail through a more interactive and personal experience, with the ability to build in touch points along every step of the conversion journey.

rank higher

How To Rank Higher On Google For A Keyword

By SEOOne Comment

How To Rank Higher On Google For A Keyword

Are you wondering how to rank higher on Google, is there a particular keyword that you’re trying to rank for? Is there a certain search term that you would just love to see your website appearing on the first page of Google for? Well it’s not necessarily that easy to do unless you’re like Wikipedia. But the good news is that it’s not impossible – I’ve done it.

The process of ranking a website to get it to appear in organic search for a particular keyword does follow a bit of a formula. Now this formula won’t yield the same results 100% of the time, and if your website is new and you are going after highly competitive search terms, well then, it’s going to be that bit tougher to get the results quickly. However, if you invest more long term into your content marketing and SEO strategy you will start to get things moving in the right direction for sure. You can increase SERP’s and in turn your traffic.

In this article we will detail 10 steps to rank higher on Google for a keyword

Step 1: Correct Foundations

This could probably be considered as more of a pre-step opposed to the first step. Before there is any chance of getting a website to rank higher on Google for any keyword its necessary to get a few basic things in place first.

An Authoritative Website

This is determined by Google’s algorithm and it is affected by a number of different factors. Everything from the age of your website, to the amount of content you have, the engagement that your page gets, the quantity and quality of back links to your website, even the number of social signals. If you want to find out more technical information on the best practices a good place to start would be Google’s Webmaster Guidelines.

An Existing Network To Distribute Content

If you already have an existing network to share the new content that you create, it means you can give it a quick boost and get it a bit more traffic straight of the bat which is going to help you rank quicker. It also could help you to get some links back to specific pieces of content as some of your network may share your articles more freely once you begin to develop a relationship with them.

Just remember that it really is the story of the tortoise and the hare when it comes to building an authoritative website that ranks well. You really just want to do things right from the start so that you don’t end up having to do them again or worse get your website penalised for some questionable tactics that got you some quick wins early on. Steady growth from white hat tactics is really the only advisable way to go.

Step 2: Do Search Term Research

We call them search terms now because they aren’t just single words anymore. Gone are the days that you can just rank for a single word. Well you can but it’s pretty unlikely. Plus no one searches like that anyway. Typically, they use questions or phrases and luckily for use these longer tail search terms are typically less competitive as they are a bit more niche. But just because they are low in competition doesn’t mean that they are low in traffic. That’s why it’s so important to use a keyword tool to check search volumes for keywords you have thought of and then also to suggest others that you may not have. It’s always good to be able to check the competition and the search volume for your keywords before you go creating content targeting them, that way you can prioritise certain ones and also decided the word count that you are going to go for. Main things to look for when choosing a keyword:


You want good volume. But not too much of it.

As a general rule you don’t really want to be shooting for keywords that have a low search volume. Especially if there is a similar search term that has a lot more search volume. For instance, if there is double the number of monthly searches for _____ _____ jobs versus _____ _____ careers. It obviously makes more sense to go with the keyword that has the highest search volume. This is true except when the keyword with the higher search volume is also twice as competitive and as such is not really worth your time until you have a more authoritative website. At the end of the day you aren’t going to rank for the search term airline unless you are actually an airline.

rank higher on google

Select a search term that is relevant to your business model

You are going to be way more likely to be successful in ranking your website for a keyword if it’s actually relevant to your business or the content on your website. You are also going to be way more likely to generate an actual return on your efforts. A website ranking for a keyword, and then sending traffic based on that keyword is only really of any value if it’s driving leads or sales. For instance, a party planner could target the search term how to cook for a party. That would make sense, however, how to cook rice is probably just lacking the relevancy required to bring anyone who is planning a party. Although it is fair to say that the more keywords you rank on the first page, the stronger your website will be, even if they are not necessarily relevant to your business. But generally, if you’re going to be putting all this effort into creating content, it’s probably just better to try and rank for keywords that will actually help to drive actual business.

It’s also a good practice at this stage to make a list of close variations for your main keywords that you are targeting. You can use them to optimise content later on so that the same pieces of content can rank for these variations also.

Step 3: Scope Out Your Competition

Once you have finally picked a keyword that you are going to go for, run it through a search on Google and see what articles come up for it already. Have a look at the competition and see what they are doing. There are a few things to pay special attention to:

Domains and URLs

How many of these are exact match domains? And does every top 10 URL have the search term in it?

The Titles

Check to see if the title tags include the search term as well

The Content Type

What content is ranking? Are they long form articles? Are they product pages? Are they videos?

Size The Businesses

How big are the businesses that are ranking? Are they small businesses or are they large multinational brands? Or worse are they big online media publishers?

How Authoritative Is The Competition?

There’s a variety of different ways to check the age of a site, as well as to check its DA or DR and also the number of backlinks and referring domains that it has. When you put this data side by side with the same metrics from your website, it should give you a pretty accurate picture of where you stand in relation to them. From this you can tell how strong your plays will need to be in order to win.

You Should Constantly Be Finding New Ways To Differentiate Yourself.

If you have any hopes of beating your competition you will need to be doing at least as much as them. But realistically if they have the advantage you will need to be doing more than they are and ultimately doing it better.

Step 4: Think About Search Intent

When it comes to search engine marketing (SEM) intent is essentially what we are guessing that the person searching for is actually looking for based on their search query. The more specific that you can get with your keywords and think longtail keywords here, the easier it is going to be to work out the search intent and ultimately its going to make it easier for you to provide those searchers with what it is that they are looking for. Take a look at the following list of search terms and see how much easier it is to work out the search intent as you work your way down and get much more granular with the search terms.

  • glasses
  • sunglasses
  • discount sunglasses
  • discount sunglasses frames
  • discount sunglasses frames for men

What you need to do is ask yourself what type of content is going to best serve this keyword? In the example above it would clearly be a selection of men’s sunglasses on sale. With the first search term you wouldn’t even know if the person was looking for drinking glasses. Even the second search term’s intent might be to find images of sunglasses. There is no real clear intent to purchase. Generally, if your business is ecommerce your will want to rank for search terms that have a commercial intent.

According to the founders of Google the most perfect search engine would only ever give you one result. And that’s the result that you want to be striving to be, the one that totally satisfies the searcher’s needs so that they don’t have to bounce straight back to the search results to look for a better, richer more fulfilling piece of content.

Step 5: Plan the Content

Now is the time for you to plan and conceptualise the content that you are going to create in order to rank higher on google for a certain keyword. There are a ton of different ways to go about ranking a piece of content for a keyword. These pieces of content include but are not limited to:

  • An article
  • A long form blog post
  • A detailed product page
  • An index or directory of links
  • A downloadable authoritative guide
  • Infographic
  • Video or Animation

How long is it going to take to make this content rank higher on google? Who should actually be making it? Should you so it in-house or outsource it? Do you have the resources? Do you have the budget that’s required? It’s easy to get overwhelmed. But it really doesn’t matter the size of your budget, everyone has the ability to write a blog post. Granted making infographics and video content will need more resources potentially ones you will need to outsource. Sometimes one of the better ways is to create something useful that answers a search query, like some sort of tool. For instance, a mortgage calculator. Obviously, something like this would require a bit of custom WordPress development but you wouldn’t believe how effective it could be for driving new traffic and in turn new leads.

Step 6: Execution

This is where you really start sucking diesel. It’s time to execute the plan you have been working on. Again, this is not the time to start rushing any of these steps and you really shouldn’t be rushing this one either. The main aim of a search engine is to find rally high quality content that is in line with what the searcher is actually looking for. The search engines aren’t looking for keyword stuffed spammy pages that are rammed with ads and that are only designed to benefit the site owner. When it comes to organic SEO you really have to earn the traffic. It’s important that you always put your audience and the quality of your content first if you want to see a sustained growth in traffic.

rank higher

Step 7: Optimize Your Content Base On Your Keyword

Realistically it would be best for steps 6 and 7 to be combined. It makes more sense to optimise your content when you are creating it or at least in the final stages or writing it. Rather than going back at the very end when it’s all done to shoehorn some keywords in. This again is where that list of variant keywords you made in step 2 comes in pretty handy. You want to try and include those keywords in your content as much as you can. But don’t be some sort of crazed keyword spam bot. Always put user experience first where possible. There is always a load of different places that go somewhat unnoticed where you can add your search terms. And we are not talking about using white text on a white background or anything questionable that would violate Google’s guidelines. We are talking image file names and alt image tags and descriptions and various places that your users won’t see but can still count for increasing the keywords that your website will rank for.

If you would like to check out a complete list of on-page SEO optimisation factors take a look at SEOmoz’s guide to the “perfect” page. You can also have a look at Wikipedia as their pages usually have some exemplar on-page optimisation.

Before you go ahead and pop that publish button it can sometimes be worth having a quick look over your keyword research again. Sometimes your content can evolve a bit as you are creating it and you just want to check that the content you have produced is still aligned with the keywords that you want to rank for and the intent those search queries likely have.

Step 8: Hit Publish

It’s that time! You can now go ahead and send your content out into the big bad world. You may want to think about scheduling this step depending on what your content is. If your content is evergreen than you don’t need to worry so much about this. But it could be important if your content is somehow tied a news story that may break soon or an event that is coming up. There may also be a requirement to coordinate stuff with a PR department, for instance if it was content relating to a new product release.

rank higher on google

Step 9: Promote Your Post

This is a huge step that is quite often forgotten and it can have an impact on how you rank higher on Google. The second you publish your post you should be promoting it in any way that you can. For big and original pieces of content you could go ahead and do a bit of media outreach prior to the content going live. The aim of this game is to get as many eyeballs looking at your content as you can, before it even has the time to rank for any search terms.


Share content on your social accounts

Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn you name it you should share it on their. If you have an account on it well then you should be sharing it there. You can even share it on your personal accounts to. Whatever you have. If you have written some quality content, then you should want to share it.


Use social buttons to increase shares of your content

You want to make it as physically easy as possible for your readers to share your content. There’s the old saying if you don’t ask. So, the easiest way to do this is with some simple share buttons. While we’re on the topic it would be great if you could go ahead and give this post a share. All the links are always appreciated.


Build links into the content

Google likes to see links. To your site and from your site, they just love seeing links because that is pretty much how their search engine works. It helps to show that you are contributing and doing your part. So, go ahead and share some links. But just make sure that they are high quality. You don’t want to be giving links to any spammy looking sites that might reflect badly on the quality of your site, particularly in the eyes of Google’s crawl bots. If you want to rank higher on Google you need to increase your reputation with them in any way possible.

Step 10: Analyze Your Efforts

You are nearly done! It’s the last step. When you think of the internet you need to think of it as a living and ever changing medium, and what that means is that it is never too late to improve the optimisation of your content. You can take a look at your keyword ranking either manually or with a rank checking tool. You can also use Google analytics to see what keywords are bringing traffic to what landing pages. Sometimes they aren’t the same ones that you were initially targeting. If after 6 weeks or so you have not started to rank higher on google for the keywords you had intended that content to rank for, then that means you have some more work to do. You will need to go back over your content and ensure that it is actually optimised correctly for that search term, that the content is of high quality and that the page is actually visible to the search. It could always just be that the keyword you originally were going for was just too competitive in relation to the strength of your site and as such you may need to reduce your expectations for now. Go after the less competitive keywords until you have built up a higher level of authority.

And that’s pretty much it! How easy was all that? This is basically a step by step guide that has been used over and over to rank higher on Google for a load of keywords for us and for many others as well. It doesn’t matter what niche your business is. You can use this process to begin to rank higher on google for a keyword too.

care homes

Care Homes Now Using Alexa, VR & New Technologies

By Virtual RealityOne Comment

Care Homes Now Benefiting From New Technologies Thanks To Alexa & VR

Now I don’t know about you but when I think of care homes, I’m pretty much imagining Grandpa Simpson’s Springfield Retirement Castle. For anyone who isn’t a Simpson’s fan it’s an all-round pretty bleak picture. I’ve often wondered when we would start to see these new technologies such as VR being rolled out to improve the quality of life for people who are either chronically ill or incapacitated to some extent. It looks like this will soon become a shared reality following a new digital initiative that is set to bring digital technologies to the elderly.

This digital initiative has been named the Digital Hubs and it is currently being trialled in a few different care homes around the UK. This initiative gives the care home residents a chance to use these immersive experiences to improve their day to day lives. The main tech being trialled is virtual reality headsets, Alexa and Phillips Hue Lighting. The idea is for this technology to be used for both entertainment but also to compliment and assist with the traditional activities of these elderly residents.

care homes

One immersive experience that is being provided is called Stimul8. This stroke of genius allows residents of care homes to travel virtually to one of eight locations from different places around the world. It even provides a different meal option or afternoon tea that is specifically themed to the visuals that are being shown. It really adds to the overall immersion and is offering a truly unique experience to people that would otherwise be left by the duck pond.

Another piece of the kit used by Stimul8 is a huge video wall, that uses Philips Hue Lighting system as well as an air blower that wafts infused scents at the viewers, that correlate with the images being shown on screen. This experience is designed as an easier one for any residents who might not be up to the VR headsets for whatever reason. This still provides a more immersive experience and allows the users to experience the outside world in a way that just wasn’t previously available until now.

The whole idea behind this concept is that be creating more stimulating environments for care home residents, it will ultimately have a more meaningful impact on their overall well-being whilst staying in the care home and it will offer them another more broader way to spend their time and provide a bit of a break from their daily routine. Generally, more fulfilled and happy people will live longer and healthier lives.

This project is definitely set to remain as it has shown huge promise and has been rather effective. Quite a few large companies have already come forward to get involved in the scheme. These tech giants inclide Amazon, Nanoleaf, Samsung and Bose, and we are sure that they wouldn’t have too much trouble getting any others to get involved.

As great as all this is, it is important to remember why this technology is being used and integrated. It’s about bettering lives not just about developing a cool immersive experiences for having a more novel lunch or to start replacing the care home staff with VR headsets and feeding tubes, like some sort of nursing home matrix.

George Vaughan who is the main person responsible for The Digital Hub has stated “We are mindful that this isn’t a case of removing the human element from care. Many of these activities are social and collaborative,”. For example as part of the initiative they offer an audio book club. This provides a great opportunity for the care home residents to meet up and collectively listen to a book before then having a discussion centred around the audio book they had just been listening to. The overall vision is to build a network of these Digital Hubs that will be able to offer care home residents an exciting and life changing new virtual space to interact within.

The scheme is also looking into different ways in which they can utilise Amazon’s Echo device, and with it, Alexa to improve resident’s in-room experience. By integrating these devices effectively residents would be able to use them to control everything from the lights to the heating to even playing music all with voice commands. Something which would be incredibly useful to some of the more physically challenged residents. This gives them the ability to take control of these things without having to struggle or else having to ask a carer to assist them with it. Not just this but the tests that have been conducted so far were using Amazon Echo Show. What this means is that lots of the care home residents were able to video call their family whenever they wanted to.

From what it seems though the biggest home run is with VR and AR. It would really seem that you are never too old to enjoy a VR experience. It’s the only technology that is going to allow its users to relive past moments or to virtually travel to nearly any travel destination that they may have always wanted to visit. And this can be done all from the comfort of their sofa or armchair. Meanwhile with the growth of AR there seems to be a whole other area of tech that is set to explode. The Digital Hub is working with an AR agency, Looking Glass, to discover for new ways to integrate physical and digital activities. One of the main things to come out of it is using AR headsets to create a video library of memories that can then be relived by the residents and also even the families. This could be a great way to curate a historical picture that could be shared long into the future.

agritech VR

Could Agritech VR Increase Cow Milk Production? Russia Thinks So

By Virtual RealityNo Comments

Could Agritech VR Increase Cow Milk Production? Russia Thinks So

Yes you did read that headline correctly. A group of pioneering Russian dairy farmers are experimenting with virtual reality. Their theory is that agritech VR could have the potential to help cows to produce more milk. The Ministry of Agriculture in Russia is actually piloting this VR scheme. They have even created these specially adapted virtual reality headsets that can be strapped to the face of a cow. You couldn’t make this up. Once hooked up to the VR headset the cow is then shown a calm and peaceful landscape with endless rolling fields. To be fair as mad as it sounds if I was the cow, I think I’d rather take the VR experience.

The whole theory behind this was that by giving the cows better “environmental conditions”, the cow’s health would be improved and as such the quality and quantity of milk that they would produce would increase. In this case however the improved conditions would be provided through a virtual reality. The cows probably wouldn’t be able to tell the difference and as such will truly experience the calmer surroundings as if they were actually there experiencing it.

Apparently, they assembled a full-on team of people to work on these cow VR headsets. An experienced virtual reality developer was brought in, along with veterinarians, as well as several consultants which honestly seems a bit overkill to me but hey the result was an agritech VR headset perfectly shaped around the structural features of a cow’s face.

agritech vr

There have been many studies on the vision of cattle, and they have all shown that cows tend to perceive the red end of the spectrum better and they tend to perceive the greener and bluer tones much weaker. The virtual reality developers were able to design a one of a kind summer field simulation that was tailored to the cow’s vision requirements. The results to no surprise were genuinely positive. I just can’t help feeling that anything would be better than a Russian diary farm. According to the results there was a noticeable reduction in anxiety and that there showed an overall increase in mood for the herd of cows that were using the VR headsets. Unfortunately, the Ministry of Agriculture have stated that it is still too early at this point to accurately determine whether or not this agritech VR experiment will result in an increase in milk production, however the outlook seems to be pretty positive so far. And at least if the whole milk production thing doesn’t work out then the cows can get a few games of Trover Saves the Universe in instead.

Whilst agreeably ethically questionable, this is probably one of the more interesting uses of VR in agritech that I have heard about and leave that whole space wide open. Prior to these cow VR headsets, the best thing I had heard about was virtual crop scouting using drones and VR headsets. They can get access to all this data without ever having to actually touch the ground. This agritech VR can really help to reduce the amount of manpower that would typically be required.

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4 WordPress Themes That Are Perfect For Any Website Build

By Web Design6 Comments

4 WordPress Themes That Are Perfect For Any Website Build

Trying to find that perfect WordPress theme can be an absolute nightmare. There are so many different WordPress themes to choose from, literally like over 10,000 of them and what are you even looking for in those endless lists anyway. It can be tricky for a beginner to know what to look for. Unless there is a specific functionality that you really need for your website, you’re basically just going on the look of the prebuilt layouts. Even though they’re probably going to be unlikely to fit the content that you have cobbled together. A lot of them might look great to begin with but they often contain clunky code and no matter what you try your website will always run slow and you will have to add plugin after plugin in an attempt to get an acceptable google page score.

Over the years there are a few templates that I have used that have just cause me no problems and have continued to function as intended year on year. It’s so important that you choose the right WordPress template both for your initial website growth but then also to ensure that your website lasts for as many years as possible or until you decided that it needs a bit of a refresh.

WordPress Themes


Divi is one of those old faithful multi-purpose WordPress theme’s, and I’m really not surprised that it is the peoples favourite too. This WordPress theme was created by Elegant Themes which is one of the world’s leading WordPress Theme creator and seller. By using themes from reputable companies, that are well established, it ensures that you will receive continuous theme updates. These updates will typically include security updates as well as other stuff. Generally, I tend to be security forward and unsecure or dated WordPress themes can be one of the easiest ways for your website to become infected with Malware or malicious code. Divi has had its code audited by Sucuri and has received their seal of approval which is a pretty good signal that this theme is a secure one.

If you are not looking to build this with code, you’re in luck! Divi comes with a great visual builder that allows you to create many different types of layouts. If the thought of designing your own layouts is all too much but you don’t want to be completely soft and go with one of those horrible wixx websites, then this could be the theme for you. The Divi WordPress theme actually comes with 20 pre-made layouts that you can choose from to get started. Honestly though, I would highly recommend that you avoid them all together and build your layouts around the content that you have decided to display. There is nothing worse than trying to shoehorn a load of content into a premade design that was never intended to display all the content that you have, or don’t have which can often be the case. You can always save your custom layouts too, this helps you to create new pages at a later stage much more efficiently. If you are interested in finding out more about the Divi theme then click here



I have recently used the Astra WordPress theme on a few recent website builds and I was genuinely pretty impressed with its customisability and particularly how stripped back the whole template was at the start of the build. It’s a very fast theme and the page scores are all good. It’s always better to start on the right foot with these things. Even at the end, once you have added all your content and any plugins for any functionalities that you might require, it really still feels very light and fast, it doesn’t feel like you have all this extra weight like you can with other template builds. This WordPress theme integrates absolutely perfectly with Elementor pro which can be a fantastic page builder for beginners. It is particularly intuitive to edit existing pages and content but creating new layouts can get a bit trickier if inexperienced. It’s a pretty solid choice. The only issue I have ran in to is with caching and page score issues when using a lot of custom css. It can be resolved but it definitely is a bit of a trade of for the speed and customisation.

Wordpress themes


Avada is the #1 selling WordPress Theme ever. And let’s face it, if something has sold that much there has got to be a good reason for it. Avada is the O.G of clean, reputable and highly versatile multi-purpose WordPress themes. It’s actually one of the first well made themes that I used. It comes with 255+ premade website layouts and 41+ full featured websites. The Avada builder is pretty simple to get the hang of too. This WordPress theme gets you started as fast as it can and if you want to go with one of their demos the installer is pretty easy to use. The one reason I tended to move away from Avada is that it does have a lot of updates, and they aren’t just quick little check boxes. There is a little bit more to it and a particular order in which you use the fusion patcher. Honestly, I never thought it was really that bad to do, but it was enough for clients to not keep up with, ultimately leaving their site vulnerable if not opting for our monthly maintenance package that we would always recommend. Some of the update processes on the other themes are much more straightforward and that was ultimately the main reason for moving away from it. Avada nonetheless is a fantastic WordPress theme and If you’re interested in checking out the Avada theme and taking a look at some of the different theme previews then click here.

wordpress theme


Salient is one of my all-time favourite WordPress themes. It’s just so dam versatile and it just has a nice premium feel to it. It’s actually the theme I am using on this website. It’s very simple to create killer layouts that display your content exactly how you want it to. It’s also particularly easy to customise with CSS if required. Salient is actually created by the same company that brought us Avada. As such we can rely on the code and trust that it is robust enough to create a nice website that will last and stand the test of time. Theme Nectar has sold this template well over 90,000 times so again from that alone we know that it’s probably a good one. And in personal experience it is!

Similar to many of the different rival templates, instead of just focusing down on one niche business area Salient went down the multipurpose route. The salient builder is based on visual composer and will be no issue if you have been familiar with any other page builders. This WordPress template can be used for anything from personal blogs to creative agencies to even full eCommerce stores with the addition of WooCommerce which integrate nicely. If you want to check out more on the salient theme then click here

target tracking ar

Target Tracking AR Using Instagram

By Augmented RealityNo Comments

Target Tracking AR Using Instagram

About 4 weeks ago thanks to Spark AR’s new release it has now made target tracking AR, sometimes known as image tracking, fully possible on the Instagram platform. What this now means is that we can trigger AR effects when the camera is pointed at an image that we set as the trigger, e.g. a logo, film poster or even product packaging. In this article we will look at some of the first AR effect filters to take advantage of this new functionality as well as discuss some different tips as to how you can use target tracking in your next promotional AR effect.

So, What’s The Big Deal With Target Tracking?

The whole point of augmented reality is to mix what is real with the different things that we have created and inserted into the real world. The target tracking helps to blend the AR effects together with different objects and imagery. This target tracking has been available in Snapchat lens studio for quite a while, so it was only a matter of time before it was released for Instagram AR. It is a very useful trigger to have when looking to create more convincing AR experiences. It allows for AR effects to be created that can interact and play with art and other iconic imagery. It also gives brands the ability to design and create digital campaigns that can interact with existing or newly created promotional materials. AR camera effects can be used to bring some life back into or draw some additional attention to a static hero shot or even printed packaging. AR effects can interact directly with the packaging or else occupy the surrounding space.

Matisse Deconstruct by Pablo Tajer

This Instagram effect created by Pablo Tajer uses target tracking and is designed to enhance Matisse’s piece hanging in the Tate Modern London. If you want to try it out yourself, you’ll need to google the painting yourself to trigger the effect. This is definitely one of the more impressive uses of target tracking and a famous art piece.

Try On Mobile
target tracking AR

Target Tracking AR Tips

When it comes to utilising target tracking to create immersive experiences for your users there are a few things that you need to keep in mind:

Use A Good Quality Image As A Tracker

Unfortunately, not all images were created equally, and just as there are some images that make for great trackers, there are also images that simply just will not work as effectively as others. You could probably do a quick Google, I’m sure someone has created a guide for this. Try Best Practices for Target Tracking Spark AR or something like that. Ultimately there are two things that you need to remember. Check the rules before agreeing anything with a client and test out the exact same image that the client wants to use before agreeing to take on the project. This will definitely help to mitigate any unfortunate surprises. No one likes them, they take years of your life expectancy.

Use A Product or Product Packaging As An Image Tracker

So, you can nearly use just about anything these days, as long as it has clearly defined edges and has decent contrast. It could be anything from a coke can to a cereal box and even an event invite… the world is your literal oyster. Starbucks Christmas Instagram AR effect was triggered using their new Christmas cups. Every cup design unlocked a different AR effect. Chipicao which is a croissant brand, just released their AR effect which used tokens found on their packaging to trigger special Justice League AR effects. They ran it as part of a promotion where every week a new mask would be released.

Target Tracking AR
target tracking ar

Help Users To Find The Tracker Image More Easily

There’s nothing worse than sitting there with your camera open wondering whether or not an effect is about to start or not. Make sure to let users know what they have to do or at least what image tracker they are looking for so just make sure that you add in appropriate  or else an outline of the image tracker in the middle of the device’s screen. Tinstructions. Another handy trick that you can use is to position a semi opaque imagehat way the user has a pretty good idea that they are looking for an image tracker to initiate the AR camera effect.

target tracking ar
target tracking ar

QR Codes. Should You Use Them As An Alternative Or Complementary?

So, the simple answer is that you can use them for both, although it really won’t look that cool at all and honestly younger generations might not even know what they are anymore. You might as well be showing them a floppy disk. I don’t know what happened to QR codes, I personally thought they were useful, but no one ever really seemed to care about them. I blame apple mostly for not building neo reader into their phones. It just made QR codes feel a bit unnatural to any Apple users. But hey Android is definitely leading the pack globally these days anyway and I doubt that’s going to change anytime soon. As it stands you can use QR codes to send people to the Facebook or Instagram link for your AR camera effect. When scanned it opens the link just like it would open any other link. Then you can also use the QR code as the actual tracker image that is triggering the AR effect. Again, it has clear edges, enough detail and enough contrast but again I would probably advise away from it due to just how boring they are. People just really seem to disengage with them. And when you consider that you can just use a poster or packaging as the tracker image, I really just don’t get why you would use a QR code instead. But if you really wanted too, you could.

AR Game

This new target tracking feature is working pretty well on the Instagram platform, so you have no reason not to give it a go. The simplest application would be to do something quirky with a business card or else just go all in with your product packaging. It is definitely capable of creating fun and immersive AR experiences for your users and take something ordinary and makes it extraordinary. Get in touch today and we can help you come up with the perfect AR concept for your brand.

Examples of AR

10 Examples Of Augmented Reality In Action

By Augmented RealityNo Comments

10 Examples Of Augmented Reality In Action

Hands up if you remember Google Glass? Unfortunately, the super hyped up augmented reality product that was prophesised to revolutionise the way in which we interacted with the real world just didn’t really work out. Despite the majority of the tech world writing this off as a whopper failure, the technology that really highlights the serious potential that is augmented reality.

For the most part, many real applications of augmented reality (AR) are still mostly for fun or for some gimmicky marketing. Although the technologies newness is enough to allow the media to surpass print, television and online advertisements in shock factor. The Drum states that AR has the ability to capture attention for over 85 seconds, it can increase interaction by 20% and can improve click through to conversion by 33%. Presently people have no problem stopping what they are doing to engage with an inspired AR experience no matter the overall quality of the campaign. However this will not last for long, as more brands begin to use AR in their marketing campaigns and the new technology becomes more and more common, it will take a lot more creativity and production quality than what’s required now to truly impress the same audience. With the rise of Facebook and Instagram AR camera effects AR is becoming much more mainstream and it’s going to become much harder to stand out.

Tim Cook, Apple’s CEO, has noted that someday AR will be as integral to our everyday lives as “eating three meals a day.” So, the real question here is, how would you use your marketing strategy to gain audience attention, once AR is commonplace?

What is Augmented Reality?

We’ve discussed it in previous articles but hey one more time can’t hurt. Essentially AR technology superimposes computer generated imagery onto the user’s real-world view. This is different to virtual reality that is totally generated by a computer with the user interacting fully from within the virtual environment, augmented reality maintains the real world, but just uses the addition of elements that aren’t actually there, ultimately enhancing the user’s experience of the real world. There are tons of different applications for this technology and it is currently being used anywhere from medical and healthcare to retail and manufacturing.

One of the simplest ways to use augmented reality for your brand is to use your business card as an AR activation target. You can either create something standalone or do it simply with layer AR but that still would require users to download something. These days the best way to execute this would be as a Facebook or Instagram AR camera effect since most people already have this app and are pretty familiar with using these camera effects now. Let’s take a look at some of the best examples of augmented reality.

Some Of The Best Examples of Augmented Reality

The potential for this new augmented technology is truly endless. It really is just a matter of time when it comes to this tech becoming a main part of our day to day lives. Whilst we are not quite there, a few organisations are creating some pretty big waves with this technology. So, here are some of the best examples of augmented reality that we have seen.

IKEA Mobile App

One of the first companies in the world to find a genuinely useful application for AR was IKEA, it’s genuinely one of the better examples of Augmented Reality. I’m not surprised really, because of them I’ve put an entire kitchen together with nothing but an Allen key. They probably started dabbling in a bit of augmented reality as far back as 2012, users could use their special app to see how certain tables and shelves would look in different places around their houses. The latest edition, IKEA Place app has taken it all one step further allowing the user to choose any item from the entire IKEA catalogue and check it out in your house for size, as its actually to scale.

This is an incredibly useful application of AR, there is just something about the giant proportions of that IKEA showroom that makes it practically impossible to in anyway correctly eye up the size of a coffee table in relation to your living room. Being able to quickly check whether a certain piece of furniture will fit into a specific spot or whether that particular shade of white will look right with the rest of your room décor just couldn’t be handier.

examples of augmented reality

Nintendo’s Pokémon Go App

We couldn’t really have a discussion about great examples of augmented reality and not bring up *que the music* Pokémon Go. I’d be lying if I said I didn’t have 146 out of 150 right now, but I’m not playing anymore I gave up after the second batch.

If you don’t know what I’m going on about Pokémon Go was pretty big, it was a large free roam game that turned the world around you into the gameboard, and you with geo location was the player moving around. Using your phone, you could catch Pokémon and battle in gyms and collect stuff, it was all very impressive. So impressive that the app actually had 65 million users at its peak of popularity and to be fair to them they had all sorts of problems rolling it out, so if they could have released worldwide at the same time and released new in game features faster they would have probably doubled that number It was also responsible for the hordes of young adults lurking around the place just starring at their phones, although what’s new these days anyway.

examples of augmented reality

Home Depot Project Color

Right so we’ve got another home based example of augmented reality for you. This one is actually pretty brilliant because it really helps to solve a problem and helps to speed up the entire consumer purchasing decision process. So, choosing a paint colour is a nightmare, and looking at those little swatches or worse yet a backlit computer screen is never going to give you a true feel for what a particular colour will look like once you’ve blasted it all over the walls. Maybe that mellow yellow will burn your retinas out once you see it on a sunny day in your south facing kitchen. Or what about that gold lamp of yours?

Home Depot released their first Project Color app in 2012 that used patented tech to let users see what a particular paint colour would look like on their walls. The AR app took lighting, objects and shadows into consideration when applying the colour to your walls. They took this even further in 2017 allowing users to change the colour of objects like patio furniture, and other stuff like taps. This is a very handy AR app for any DIYer.

examples of augmented reality

Sephora Virtual Artist App

I couldn’t imagine there being many women who would risk buying make up products online if they had not used them before. It would be impossible to know what a colour would look like on you without actually being able to test it out first.

Sephora really understood this problem, and their solution was a highly effective augmented reality experience Virtual Artist App, using ModiFace. It allowed users to try out different make up products virtually, for instance users could see what each different colour of lipstick looked like on their face using the camera in their phone. It also gave additional information on other products that would be useful when paired with selected options. There was even an additional option that showed users what their skin would look like after a few months of one of their skin care routines.

Bridget Dolan, head of innovation @ Sephora, can see the potential for a long-term AR strategy. “When it comes to augmented and virtual reality, it can only be successful if it’s truly useful,” Bridget said to Glossy. “We weren’t interested in just buzzy. A lot of things like technical accuracy and timing had to come together, and there was a time last year when, during testing, we hit a tipping point.”

examples of augmented reality

This use of augmented reality isn’t just a gimmicky attention ploy, this application is genuinely helpful, addressing a widely held ecommerce problem around selling make up products online, and as a result it drove an increase in conversions. It also drove a lot of awareness for the brand online as the AR experience was also highly shareable.

Timberland AR Mirror

Now I don’t know about you but I am certainly not always in the mood to be trying on clothes, I wouldn’t say it’s close to putting me off all together or anything like that but there have definitely been a few occasions that I’ve bought something to try it on later at home, with the intention of returning it afterwards if I didn’t like it.

So all in the name of convenience and being sound, this example of augmented reality was brought to us by Timberland who created a virtual fitting room in Moktow Gallery. It was created using Kinnect motion capture and it allowed the user to see their head paired onto a similarly sized model body with a bunch of different outfits that you could try on virtually. Ultimately if you want to use AR, its best to do it in a unique way that actually addresses a genuine problem for the consumer. Okay maybe fitting rooms aren’t the worst of all problems but non the less the Timberland brand was able to stand out as a more helpful brand that is happy to offer a fun alternative.

examples of augmented reality

Disney Coloring Book

A couple of years back now Disney launched a unique way for kids to see all of their favourite characters in the real world using augmented reality. The Disney research team built an AR application that would project the coloured in images from a colouring book into 3D renders using only a mobile phone or tablet. This sort of tech is really not that mainstream and is really in its infancy, however it has the potential to usher in an entirely new way for kids to play with their imagination.

L’Oréal Makeup App

This example of augmented reality is actually pretty similar to the concept behind IKEA app or even the home depot paint changing app. The cosmetics company L’Oréal created a mobile app that allowed its users to try different types of their makeup products. It worked pretty much like an Instagram or Facebook AR camera effect, except it was released a few years before Spark AR studio was even hinted at.

AMC Theatres

Being able to deliver your message when and where your audience is looking to receive it is very much a critical part of any successful marketing strategy. This is even more true when we are talking about it in relation to AR.  AMC Theatre implemented AR technology into their AMC app because they knew that their audience was going to be most interested in viewing additional movie related content whilst waiting at the cinema. When a user saw a movie poster in the lobby, they could use the app to scan the poster which would give them access to more information as well as the trailer. It also had an ecommerce functionality built in that allowed the user to buy a ticket immediately if they liked the look of the film after watching the trailer. Again, like all effective AR apps this one is providing convenience by bringing the ecommerce element right to the same place that the user is watching the trailer and it is getting their attention in the first place through AR.

AR examples

Weather Channel Studio Effects

Television news has used special effects in its programming on a daily basis for years now. For instance, the weatherman segment has been using green screens for years to give that map overlay effect. The Weather Channel is after taking this up a notch as they are now using AR to illustrate some of the even more extreme weather and its effect. Over the past few years they have been using examples of augmented reality to show a 3D tornado live on set, highlighting the height of flooding that is likely to occur during storm surges and hurricanes. They even recently drove a virtual car through the studio to demonstrate how easy it is for vehicles to lose control on icy roads. We can imagine that news, weather and sports broadcasters will continue to champion AR as a way to improve the television experience for their viewers.

U.S. Army

Here’s some examples of augmented reality that isn’t just for fun and games. The US Military has been experimenting with augmented reality programs that have been designed to be used during combat. These programs would help soldiers in the field to identify and distinguish enemies from friendly comrade. They also have an enhanced night vision that looks pretty bad ass. This system is still under development and it could be a few years yet before it sees any real action, but its pretty easy to see how innovations of this nature would certainly improve efficiency and would surely save lives.

Christmas AR

The Best Christmas Instagram AR Effects

By Augmented RealityNo Comments

The Best Christmas Instagram AR Effects

It’s pretty commonly accepted at this stage that Christmas, just like the Super Bowl, is a rather momentous occasion in the world of advertising. Everyone waiting to see what the big brand advertising agencies have been working on for the last year in an attempt to reduce us to warm nostalgic tears. Que some shit from the 90’s.  Well I for one am glad we are bombarded with all the ads and not just because I make them. This year we have seen a big push in augmented reality largely through the official release of Facebook and Instagram AR camera effects and I for one have been both looking forward to and planning the AR possibilities for this Christmas.

During this time of the year people tend to be actively searching for more ways to create deeper connections with others, and let’s face it, AR filters have certainly already proven their effectiveness at bringing people together with the touch of a mobile device. Christmas is also quite a busy time for charities and other non-profits. Something about the flashing lights and extra pints that gets everybody’s hands in their pockets. AR filters can be a seriously great tool to leverage an awareness campaign through Instagram and Facebook due to the increased shareability of the content they produce. There are so many different reasons to consider AR effects the perfect promotional tool for boosting any Christmas campaign this year.

It doesn’t matter if you are using Facebook, Instagram or Snapchat as your main social channel, all of these platforms are now facilitating AR camera effects and it’s clear they aren’t going anywhere anytime soon. Which is great news for any brands looking to add some smiles to the faces of their followers. And not just because the AR filter are that good, but because with AR you could literally add smiles onto their faces.

If you want to find out more about using AR effects, you can check out our last posting on publishing Instagram AR effects. In this article, we will look at some different Christmas campaigns that utilised social AR to help increase their campaign uptake. Hopefully this gives you some ideas of your own Christmas AR campaign. ?


Back in November at what I can only presume was the very second that Halloween ended, Starbucks released four Christmas Instagram effects which were activated when you scanned any of their limited edition Christmas cups. The aim was to bring their customers attention to their reusable cups and to promote a more eco-friendly lifestyle. This is not Starbucks first time venturing into the AR waters for a little Christmas dip. They released a Snapchat filter during the Christmas of 2016 that turned you into a load of carol singers.

Christmas Instagram AR Effects
Christmas Instagram AR Effects


Definitely a go to concept for a Christmas AR effect, M&M’s created a lens that turned the user into Santa, whilst also managing to included their product quite nicely. Cleverly the fairy lights are made out of M&M’s that light up when activated! This lens was actually created to allow to people to use it at the same time. In the case of this Snapchat lens the second user became a reindeer.

Christmas Instagram AR Effects
Christmas Instagram AR Effects


It isn’t just face filters that are dominating the AR filter game! There was a Snapchat lens that you could unlock only if you scanned McDonald’s Christmas packaging. When open a cute reindeer appeared that was dancing. This AR filter effect was linked with that popular TV spot where Santa went to Maccies to get some carrots for his reindeer. The real key to any successful campaign is the combination of AR with other forms of advertising media. It builds on and enhances any previously created connections points and ultimately it helps you to ideate an AR filter that won’t need to rely heavily on branded assets but will still generate some good marketing ROI.


An Instagram unboxing experience! This AR activation lets all you sneaker heads virtually unbox the new Gatorade AJ1’s that were released for Christmas.

The lens was pretty innovative at the time and it allowed used to check out the sneakers in a 3D virtual experience, try them on, take them for a walk, maybe even a dance as well as tons of other fun hidden extra functionalities to increase engagement like a basketball hoop. By hijacking the online unboxing phenomenon, Foot Locker made a virtual product demo a seriously shareable experience that was founded upon actual sneaker culture.

Read more at thedrum.com


When it comes to creating some hard hitting Christmas nostalgia no brand has really come close to that of Coca-Cola. And luckily for us all they have decided to include AR into these Christmas marketing efforts! A great example of this was a Facebook AR Camera effect made by Coca Cola Kenya that allowed the user to become Santa #besanta. As Santa you were now free to send personalised holiday messages to all your friends and family.

Read case study

As you well know this time of year gives marketers a host of opportunities when it comes to producing fun branded Christmas Instagram AR Effects and filters that are likely to be shared even more than other times of the year, as friends and families look for ways to share some laughs and some festive spirit. So if your agency, brand, business, organisation, charity or non-profit have never attempted to utilise AR in one of your campaigns, tis the season to do it


If you have any questions or would like us to tell you how you could use AR to grow your online presence just get in touch!

Branded AR Effects

Instagram AR Effects. How To Publish Branded AR Effects?

By Augmented Reality, DigitalNo Comments

A few months ago, Instagram AR beta was officially opened. What that means is from that very moment, everyone, including brands, could publish their own AR camera effects directly onto the Instagram platform. It’s certainly been enormously popular and has only added to the engagement with the mobile app. In fact, an AR camera effect created using Spark AR can be distributed quite easily to almost anyone, anywhere, making it a truly powerful promotional tactic. What’s more, it is really effortless to publish them and to share them with all of your Instagram or Facebook followers. And if you have any trouble we would be more than happy to help assist you with everything from the creation to the publishing or distribution of a Facebook or Instagram camera effect.

Promotional Instagram AR Effects

There is a bit of a difference when it comes to branded AR effects made for the purposes of promotional activity versus the all the other kinds of effects. For pretty obvious reasons we will only really address branded AR effects. Firstly, it is important to determine what would be deemed a promotional AR effect. There is ultimately two main things that will determine whether an AR effect is promoting a brand under the judging eyes of the Instagram platform: is the account that the effect is being published to belonging to a brand (business pages are probably a bit of a give-away), or else could the content within the effect itself be construed as promotional. Instagram is with doubt the strictest platform when it comes to branded AR camera effects. It is nearly always seen as a promotional AR effect when it included either a brand name, logo, product name or product image. Of course, sometimes you can get lucky with the approval but more often than not it’s going to be tagged as a promotional AR effect on the Instagram platform.

So Where Are Promotional AR Effects Displayed

1. Instagram Profile

Whenever any user visits your profile on the Instagram platform, they should be able to see all of your different AR effect in the Effects tab. You can simply go there when you click the icon below your Story Highlights.

2. In A Story

When flicking through stories, if you come across any using an AR effect it will highlight the creator/publishers name at the top. You can click on them to yourself to try out the effect.

3. The Effect Gallery

This option only relates to those users who are already following your Instagram account. When they open their Instagram camera and scroll right through their effects tray they should be able to come across your effect. Promotional effects will only ever be shown to users who are following your profile.

5. Links To Effects

Lastly every single AR effect will have its very own unique URL. With this link you can essentially post it, publish it or share a link just about anywhere to promote it further, When somebody clicks the link it will go ahead and open the AR effect in the Instagram platform, unless they don’t have the app in which case they will be prompted to download and install the Instagram app. Its one of the simplest ways to share an Instagram effect.

Promotional Instagram AR Effects

It really couldn’t be simpler to publish your branded AR effects through the Spark AR Hub. That’s the place that allows you to upload and manage any of your FB and Instagram AR effects. You sign in using your Facebook account logins, this means that any effect uploaded through that account will be the publisher of the effect even if you did not actually create it yourself. This means branded AR filters will be shown as belonging to the brand account that uploaded them. When uploading your effect you will need to also upload an icon for the effect, you can then wait to see if it has been approved which usually takes about a day and then finally you can upload a demo video of your effect. It is really important that this demo video is of a decent standard and is in some way appealing as this will show up on your public profile and the Instagram Effect Gallery. You can also see how well your effects have been received using Spark AR Hub.

Checking Out The Results

The data that is ready available to you, we mean the actual information that you can get access to really isn’t that detailed at all but at least it’s something to go by. The insights include Impressions, Captures and Shares. Impressions are pretty much what they say on the tin, this is the number of times that the AR effect has been displayed on a screen. Captures is the number of photos or videos that have been taken using the AR camera effect. Shares show how many of those photos were used in an Instagram story.

Name And Icon

So when it comes to creating an icon for your Instagram AR effect there are some specific guidelines that you need to ensure you adhere to if you wish to get your AR effect approved. The most important of all these guidelines is that the icon needs to clearly represent the camera effect. Another important guideline relates to the name of your AR camera effect, which is unable to include any names of businesses or people and, also, cannot be more than 20 characters in length. If you want to see the full list of rules and regulations, along with a template and some general best practices then feel free to click here.

This post should hopefully have covered some of the more important information that you may find yourself needing if you were ever considering beginning the production of an Instagram AR camera effect for your own brand. If you’re interested in finding out some more information, you could check out Spark AR website as there is quite a bit detailed out there or as an alternative you can head on over to our blog, as this a topic which we often cover. Or if there are any specific questions that you may have or if you are looking for someone to create an AR camera effect for you or your brand then please do feel free to get in touch with us!