It had only been a few weeks since my last visit to Sun Valley Mall in Concord, California, but during our trek this weekend, we found that the mall had added two interactive installations that foretell part of the future of advertising.
On entering the mall, we saw a Fox-sponsored "Stop. Scan. Shop." display driven by both QR codes and proprietary Fox images. The display featured a video monitor playing clips of movies, along with movie ads the featured QR codes. Passers-by could scan the codes with their phones and order the movie for delivery to their homes.
When I got home, I did a bit of research and found that Fox began in mid-March installing the virtual storefront in malls around the country. In addition to being able to use a QR scanner, you can also download the Fox Movie Mall app. Besides scanning QR codes, the app recognizes any Fox DVD image, character image or logo. Scanning with the app unlocks discounts, trailers, movie clips, games, and other content.
After snapping a picture of the virtual storefront-occupying otherwise unused wall space-we passed the mall atrium, where Santa Claus sets up shop during the holiday season. This weekend, though, a massive screen made up of digital monitors occupied the space, featuring an augmented reality (AR) promotion for the DVD of the TV series, "Frozen Planet."
Mall visitors could stand on a template that matched the iceberg in the video (right down to the hole through which seals popped up), allowing them to see themselves on the iceberg interacting with penguins, polar bears, killer whales and other species that thrive in frozen climes. I shot a brief video with my HTC Evo:
Expect to see more interative digital advertising in malls soon. I remember watching the ads identify Tom Cruise by scanning his retina as he walked through a mall in "Minority Report." We're not quite to that level of personalization yet, but more sophisticated interactivity is going to appear at an accelerated rate.
One last point: Anybody who thinks QR codes are dead just isn't paying attention.