It’s a postcard. No…it’s a camera!

Augmented reality puts a virtual camera in potential buyers’ hands.

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Working with Mullen, a Boston-based integrated advertising agency, and Total Immersion, an augmented-reality (AR) software developer, Olympus used AR to promote its new PEN E-PL1 digital camera. The result was part of an integrated campaign that included TV, online, and print advertising and was as innovative as the camera itself. In line with the brand mission to empower consumers with the inspiring message “Look What You Can Do,” Olympus didn’t want to tell consumers about the PEN, they wanted them to experience it for themselves. AR provided an ideal way for anyone to experience the size, ease and functionality of the camera in their own hands.

Readers of the June 2010 print issue of Wired and the July 2010 print issue of Popular Photography found an actual-size tip-in photo card of the Olympus PEN. Readers who peeled off the camera card and held it in front of a webcam were transported to an extraordinary experience that began at the site.

Participants saw themselves onscreen with a 3-D Olympus PEN in their hands. Even more amazing, by manipulating the camera card they could interact with the virtual camera on screen, simulating actual features—take pictures, shoot video, try the flash, remove the lens and even try a variety of in-camera art filters.

Ed #14 Getting Personal