Connected Packaging: Your best performing owned media channel

6 min read
Blog Author

Connected Packaging: Your best performing owned media channel

Blog Author
6 min read
Download our new mini-guide in collaboration with Experience is Everything and System1 and discover just how effective AR packaging campaigns really are.

Why should you introduce AR into your packaging?

Zappar has teamed up with the always-on packaging experts over at Experience is Everything, and the marketing experts over at System1, to research just how effective AR packaging campaigns really are. In this mini-guide, you'll find:

  • The results of our 2021 connected packaging study, including whether AR outperforms traditional advertising
  • Insight from marketing experts, like Orlando Wood
  • Why your packaging is a crucial but often overlooked step in the buyer's journey
  • What neuroscience tells us about attention levels and memory when using AR


Download the guide



A word from our CEO & Co-Founder:

There are moments when I wonder whether we’ve bitten off more than we can chew at Zappar with our mission to democratise AR. 

It sounded like such a good idea 10 years ago. But it turns out that to have this sort of North Star and really mean it, and not just pay lip service to such a bold claim, comes with a burden of responsibility. 

It means actively pursuing solutions that bring this facilitating technology to the mass market; catering for designers and developers of all abilities; building tools that allow you to build once and publish to many across apps and the web; creating processes, frameworks and ebooks that encourage best practices that can be shared openly; committing to documentation, resources and tutorials that help people get the most out of AR; building breadth and depth of services and systems that can cater for all the camera needs of a company; developing new products like ZapBox to accelerate the adoption of XR; and offering robust, scalable and affordable solutions to everyone. Frankly, it’s exhausting! 

There’s another element too which is collaborating with partners to pioneer research into why and how augmented reality is such a powerful engagement channel. Not just for our benefit, but for our industry. We did this a few years ago with Mindshare and the team at Neuro-Insight looking at the effects of AR on brain activity (turns out it’s pretty great at visual attention and memory encoding) which we’re delighted to see has cropped up in many reports published by our platform peers and in agency presentations since. 

I’m delighted to say that we’re about to release a brand new report that was part of a collaboration with our good friends at Experience Is Everything and the independent consumer research team at System1. It was based on a cereal brand campaign activation that ran in the US from their packaging (if I said it featured a Tiger does that give the game away?). For those of you who like to read the back cover of a book first, the synopsis is that the overall levels of happiness and surprise elicited from the AR campaign tested was at 87 points versus 56 for the advertising norm – that’s a 55% increase over the ad norm. 

The independent consumer research led by the team at System1 found that AR matched the highest criteria for five stars in their study. For context, only 1% of ads achieve a five-star rating in System1’s methodology; the industry norm is three stars; with 53% of their ads tested (40,000) in the one-star range as they lead to no impact at all. 
Orlando Wood, Chief Innovation Officer at System1 said of the findings, "These striking results show with confidence the benefits of an immersive AR experience for emotional connection. The AR experience comfortably surpassed category norms for advertising, achieving an emotional response that was amongst the very highest on record.”

What the research reaffirms on top of all the other quantitative data we have is that product packaging is one of the most valuable pieces of owned media real-estate at your disposal as a brand owner. And in this brave new world of connected platforms and packaging, AR is a vital component of this new ecosystem for customer engagement. It turns your passive print into a digital portal of discovery creating a direct conversation between brands and their consumers. Combined, AR and connected packaging offers a framework for how companies can deliver success and a treasure trove of data related to product use.

Ten years into our AR journey and backed up by multiple research studies and data touchpoints I think it is fair to say that we are now in a new era of spatial storytelling where the importance of the camera to any brand or business is proven beyond doubt. Frankly, if as a business you don’t have or aren’t exploring a camera strategy and leveraging your packaging for digital discovery you are behind your peers. With the acceleration of adoption of QR and scanning in the age of COVID; the increase in contactless shopping and product visualisation; the advent of WebAR; with people actively seeking out more information about the products they buy (and brands they buy from in) an age of conscientious consumerism, why wouldn’t you be communicating with your customers on the device they use most, in contextually relevant ways when they are purchasing or using your product?

Hopefully, this study will further help democratise AR and the use of this facilitating technology. Feel free to use its findings far and wide. We want to encourage greater adoption, better implementation and further application of meaningful camera strategies for brands and businesses. And of course, if you want to do that with the help of our products and services, well that would be nice too. You can speak to one of our AR experts today about our connected packaging solutions and how you can implement them in your business.