Bridging the online/offline gap, Esquire magazine has collaborated with book retailer Barnes & Noble and augmented reality platform GoldRun to launch two campaigns that bring its pages to life in the real world via geo-tagging over smartphones.
The first campaign uses AR to places Brooklyn Decker, the actress featured on Esquire’s February cover, next to the periodical racks at more than 700 B&N stores nationwide. Users can download the free GoldRun app for iPhone and open it once they’re inside their local Barnes & Noble and standing by the magazines. Thanks to the iPhone’s GPS and the geo-location coordinates set up by GoldRun, the application will generate one of five different pictures of Decker standing amid the crowd.
“It’ll look like she’s actually there in the store with you, and you can snap a picture with her, have a friend take your picture with her, and pretend that you actually saw and/or met Brooklyn Decker,” Esquire explains on its Web site and in this video. “And maybe buy a copy of a magazine while you’re at it.”
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The promotion is enabled by GoldRun’s integration of augmented reality with geolocation, which sets up a 150-foot zone around the precise coordinates of the magazine stand in each Barnes & Noble outlet across the country. Barnes & Noble is not contributing to funding the campaign, but the company is reportedly promoting the Esquire AR promotion—which will last through the month of February—on its Web site and in email messaging to customers.
A second Esquire promotion built around AR asks readers in seven U.S. cities to go on an urban scavenger hunt for the seven letters in the magazine’s logo, as reimagined by design firm Tronic Studio. Fans can use the GoldRun iPhone app to point their cameras at specific landmarks and photograph the letters apparently floating in space before the Empire State Building, Grauman’s Chinese Theatre, or Chicago’s Wrigley Building. (All the letters can be found within each of the seven cities; no interurban travel required.)
Users can upload pictures of their logo letter finds at www.esquire.com/the-side/esquire-scavenger-hunt-0211. Those who do will get one entry to a sweepstakes drawing for an Apple iPad, to be awarded around March 2.
“At Esquire, we continue our effort to merge print and new forms of cutting-edge technology,” Editor-in-Chief David Granger said in a release.
GoldRun has been a partner in several notable recent deployments of geo-located AR, including a promotion last November for the fall collection of retailer H&M that let users compile Facebook “lookbooks” of new fashions by simply standing near 10 of the chain’s New York locations, opening the app and taking pictures.
The same month, GoldRun also coordinated with athletic shoe maker Airwalk and digital agency Y&R to produce two “virtual pop-up stores” in New York’s Washington Square and Venice Beach, CA. For 24 hours app users could see a virtual Jim Shoe hovering over those spaces, and the first 300 could also click through to the Airwalk e-commerce site and buy a pair of the limited-edition Jims.
According to GoldRun creative vice president Shai Rao, the Esquire/ Brooklyn Decker geotagging project is the platform’s first nationwide initiative and its most complex to date, involving some 700 Barnes & Noble stores.