Ackerman's new app uses AR to bring The Lion King to life

By Dhivana Rajgopaul Time of article published Jul 19, 2019

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DURBAN – Ackermans has partnered with local gaming and animation studio Sea Monster and the Disney franchise, is giving South African shoppers a whole new way to experience The Lion King through the movie merchandise and a custom-developed app. 

From store window displays, through to prints on a number of different garments, shoppers of all ages will get to see fully-animated 3D scenes of their favourite characters coming to life in the real world using the app’s Augmented Reality capabilities. 

Activities range from scanning The Lion King pictures on merchandise and displays, through to printing a special coloring-in sheet which kids can scan to trigger a unique scene.

The app also allows you to take pictures of the 3D pop-ups on the merchandise, meaning that people can pose with their characters and put the experience in a photo frame, which is readily shareable with friends and family on social media.

"In-store experiences become less routine and more novel, which is great for consumers and retailers alike," said Sea Monster, Experience Designer, Rodain Joubert. 

Joubert added, "The built-in opportunities for capturing, posing and sharing unique moments also fit right in with the lifestyle of an increasingly tech-savvy and socially-driven population. Plus, from a marketing standpoint, the message is pushed out on social media by consumer authenticity - a valuable commodity in a world where we're used to dealing with targeted messaging at every turn". 

Sea Monster, Ackermans, and Disney opted to use 3D and AR to bring The Lion King to life because of its relative accessibility. 

"We needed to consider that the average South African shopper isn’t necessarily carrying a high-end smartphone. For many, the Ackermans Live app will be their first introduction to the exciting world of augmented reality, and we carefully selected images we could animate and bring to life, with this in mind," said Joubert.

For users who are data sensitive, the Ackermans Live app is light (less than 80MB) and is an entirely self-contained ecosystem, once downloaded. 

Users will need to consider additional costs when they decide to share pics.

For Ackermans AR is a way to deliver extra value to its customers that’s more compelling than just a price discount.

"We think that direct merchandise scanning adds something new and exciting to the merchandising space for consumers and retailers, and adds an element of fun exploration that consumers will appreciate," said Joubert. 


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