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Bringing the printed word to life with augmented reality

Over the last few months Save the Children’s fundraising team have been exploring different ways of engaging with our supporters in deeper, more interactive ways.

Our first test was the January edition of Children Now, our supporter magazine. We used an augmented reality tool to make an image come to life.

Augmented reality tools allows smart phone users to take advantage of the apps and tools on their handsets to make static images come to life.

The possibilities are limitless – you can use animation, 3D graphics, audio, video and more to make a one dimensional image merge with interactive content.

Children Now is published three times annually and sent to 240,000 Save the Children supporters. The magazine was a great platform for our first test because it covers such a wide range of topics, but it is a traditional printed magazine with a limited interaction between audience and writer. It’s very difficult to drive readers to online content!

Our goal with this test was to engage supporters through exciting film content without using email or SMS as a delivery channel. Crucially, we needed to find a low-cost way of getting film content into people’s homes to demonstrate the impact of their support.

We used a free tool called Aurasma to make an image from our East Africa appeal come to life with a film we created a few months ago called Fill A Truck. Getting this test off the ground had its challenges. We definitely didn’t do everything right! Adding digital content to a printed leaflet isn’t straightforward.

Getting it right

The content on the page didn’t end up looking the way we expected so next time we’ll be sure to leave enough time to play around with the layout and wording of the print materials.

We got a lot of help from the team at Aurasma. They created a transition for us (the shift you see from the static image to the film) and worked late into the night to get our Aura live on deadline and gave our film a few small nips and tucks.

If you haven’t tried the Aura yourself, you can watch the film below to see how it works.

Save the Children – How to use Aurasma

This was one of the first of many tests you’ll be seeing over the next few months. As we test new technology, we’ll continue developing our learning so please bear with us and let us know what you liked or disliked by leaving a message below.

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