Nationwide Cinemedia offers first in-theater AR game for a movie

Screenshot of the AR game on a mobile phone.

Screenshot of the AR game on a smartphone.

Last month, cinema advertisement network National Cinemedia launched the Halloween-themed short augmented reality (AR) game for moviegoers, part of a number of theater-based AR experiences it started about six months ago.

On Friday, the company is liberating what it says is the first movie theatre AR game for a new film release.

Follow up to ‘ Wreck-It Ralph. ’ The game ties along with “ Ralph Breaks the Internet, ” a Disney sequel to the 2012 “ Wreck-It Ralph” discharge that rolls out to US movies building on November 21.

Moviegoers watch the pre-show delivering presentations from Cinemedia, which includes short movies and commercials that are followed by a good on-screen invitation to participate in a good AR game experience.

Then, a static screen displays Wreck-It Ralph, a character within the movie, standing at a counter within the Pancake Milkshake Café.

Moviegoers, who have downloaded National Cinemedia’ s free Noovie Arcade application (iOS and Android), open the app and stage their smartphone at the image in the movie screen.

Feeding Bunny and Kitty. A hidden visual trigger within the image starts the AR online game, which involves tapping virtual buttons at the phone’ s screen to give food to pancakes to the Bunny and milkshakes to the Kitty, as fast as possible. (Seriously. )

Here’ s the particular trailer for the movie itself, with a scene where Ralph replicates a casino game in the movie to give pancakes in order to Bunny and milkshakes to Cat:

The image on the movie theater’ s i9000 screen provides the visual backdrop for your app’ s in-phone gameplay. Whilst gameplayers score points, they won’ t see others’ points in this particular incarnation, although Digital Ad Product sales VP Jerry Canning told me the shared scoreboard is in the functions for future Noovie Arcade movie theatre games.

The game by itself lasts for only 30 secs, plus an intro and a good outro of a few seconds. Afterwards, there exists a “ Ralph Breaks the Internet” logo and release date, plus, Canning assured me, there is a tip on the movie screen to turn away from phones during the movie.

This AR game will be offered through December 6 in the 1700 theaters where National Cinemedia offers its pre-show, representing more than twenty one, 100 screens, including ones which are not showing “ Ralph Splits the Internet. ”

Why this matters to online marketers. As a new type of movie marketing, the Ralph video game employs AR to promote the new The disney produtcions flick and to get moviegoers joining with the characters.

In-theater AR games that exploit the existence of a large movie screen and an attentive audience with AR-ready smartphones appear to be a natural combo, especially as tie-ins to the marketing of new movies. Or even they could represent AR/movie experiences which are standalone entertainment or marketing within themselves.

In any case, since movie theaters try to present experiences that will compel people to leave their films TVs at home, these kinds of experiences can represent the vanguard of how AR can become as standard as, state, movie trailers.

This story first appeared on MarTech Today. For more on marketing technologies, click here.

About The Writer

Barry Levine covers advertising technology for Third Door Press. Previously, he covered this area as a Senior Writer for VentureBeat, and he has written about these as well as other tech subjects for such magazines as CMSWire and NewsFactor. He or she founded and led the web site/unit at PBS station Thirteen/WNET; worked well as an online Senior Producer/writer regarding Viacom; created a successful interactive video game, PLAY IT BY EAR: The very first CD Game; founded and directed an independent film showcase, CENTER DISPLAY, based at Harvard and Meters. I. T.; and served more than five years as a consultant towards the M. I. T. Media Laboratory. You can find him at LinkedIn, and Twitter at xBarryLevine.

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