Directories group Yellow's first foray into augmented reality in its app is all about entertainment, but it has plans to get serious with the technology.
Director of innovation and strategy Phil Coop says AR is shifting from use for fun to utility, and using it is part of the company's transition from print to digital.
"It's a bit of test to see how people will react," says Coop. "Yellow has been playing catch up with some of the global providers but we've got a solid commitment from the board to heavily invest in the digital space. "In a low impact way, we can try this out, then we can start to do some more meaningful things with it."
Those could include promoting businesses that are on board with Yellow, he says. "When you're out and about, your phone does become a viewing screen to what's going on around you and Yellow has the biggest business database in New Zealand. As we add reviews and more comprehensive information and richer content like images, we can see how that would work well in an augmented reality environment as well."
For this campaign Yellow is adding a fun element to bus stop AdShels with animations prompted when Yellow app users scan the AdShel markers with their smartphone.
Examples of the animations include a leg wax gone wrong and an over-enthusiastic dancer at a party.
Creative agency True developed the campaign concept and the animation content, which was then supplied to development house Marker Studio to introduce AR to an updated version of the Yellow app.
"We know that good AR relies on being integrated at the start, rather than retro-fitting a creative concept to a technology," says True's managing director Matt Dickinson.
Marker Studio used the software development kit for the AR platform Layar to trigger the animations when markers in the bus shelter creative are scanned. The animations are based on Yellow's six word story creative, introduced in October.
Yellow's iOS app has now been downloaded about 175,000 times.