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Auchan taps augmented reality to sell Christmas products to YouTube generation

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French retailer Auchan has rolled out an augmented reality (AR) Christmas app across eight European countries in a bid to capitalise on children’s demand for video content.

Designed in collaboration with start-up vertical, the Auchan Kids application combines elements of the company’s previous AR campaigns. One element, inspired by AR mobile game Pokémon Go, allows children to build up points by throwing virtual snowballs at characters called “Wishmiz”.

In an effort to entice potential shoppers onto the high street, players can catch a special golden Wishmiz in store locations. The store will also feature a photobooth where children can be photographed next to the characters.

As well as the game, children can use the app to scan the pages of the paper catalogue. Virtual buttons appear for each product on the page and children can add products to a wish list, as well as view related animations where they exist.

This wish list is then sent to their parent’s email along with a web link to the relevant product.

In addition to France, where it launched last month, the application is now available in Spain, Hungary, Italy, Poland, Portugal, Romania and Ukraine.

The campaign followed last year’s 3D toys catalogue, which allowed customers to point their device at the Auchan catalogue and see toys superimposed on its pages.

A spokesperson told InternetRetailing that the company is taking advantage of the fact that “children are increasingly mindful of content. This is evident from YouTube.”

They added that the first interactive catalogue last year saw children looking at the same animations several times.

“Some evidence suggests that games with content will be more successful in attracting children’s attention,” said the spokesperson. “But also the attention of their parents, if we take the example of video content for baby products enticing parents to purchase a game for their babies.”

Auchan features as a “Leading” retailer in InternetRetailing’s IREU ranking of top European retailers.

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