- Brazilian footwear brand Havaianas installed a mural at the entrance to the Venice Beach Boardwalk in Southern California that doubled as a mobile commerce experience. Visitors who point their smartphones at the work by pop artist Buff Monster can activate the shopping experience and order products directly from the brand, Campaign reported.
- Shoppers first must visit Havaianas' campaign microsite, StepIntoSummer.com, on a mobile browser and snap a picture of the artwork with patterns or colors they like best, as a campaign video clip demonstrates. The activation relies on Google Vision's artificial intelligence (AI) technology to identify sections of the mural, which match with different sandal styles. The microsite also features fashion tips from stylist Tara Swennen.
- Havaianas brand ambassadors attended the debut of the 15-foot by 85-foot mural, which was crafted from high-grade rubber to correspond with its rubber-soled sandals, to help mobile users with the boardwalk shopping experience.
Havaianas' shoppable mural is another demonstration of how the latest technologies can transform out-of-home (OOH) advertising into an interactive experience on mobile devices, while potentially driving sales. Venice Beach is the second-biggest tourist attraction in Southern California after Disneyland, according to data cited by the Venice Chamber of Commerce. Such strong foot traffic likely gave Havaianas a chance to offer thousands of prospective shoppers a whimsical experience with its footwear brand as they walked along Venice's famed boardwalk.
Instead of using traditional QR codes, the activation relied on Google Vision, the AI technology that the search giant developed to help smartphone users identify everyday objects. Google in April introduced Google Cloud for Retail, a suite of software services for merchants that includes its Vision Product Search. The technology lets retailers match products in their catalogs with items that shoppers can scan with their smartphone cameras to unlock an immersive experience or activate a shopping journey.
Smartphones give marketers a chance to bring their OOH advertising to life at a time when such campaigns have been shown to be a powerful channel for driving consumers into physical locations. A variety of companies have added an experiential component to their OOH campaigns in the past year. Fast food chain Wingstop this year hosted a "Flavor World" tour that combined mobile, social media and OOH ads to engage customers at select locations throughout the country. Macy's in May launched an OOH experiential campaign integrated with Pinterest that gave shoppers a chance to find a curated selection of clothing based on their specific locations.
Similarly, to promote its new vodka, Absolut last year debuted a "Global Selfie" campaign encouraging travelers flying from Frankfurt to Singapore to upload selfies to an online platform that are shared on digital displays. Disney promoted "Star Wars: The Last Jedi" with digital billboards in Times Square and Toronto's TEC Towers to display real-time Twitter reactions from fans of the movie in order to engage consumers in real time and bridge offline experience with mobile tech.