Jurassic World Eats Pokémon Go at Augmented Reality App Marketing

Two years ago, Pokémon Go made waves as the first really successful augmented reality app to gain a broad user base. This year, “Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom” is the summer’s latest blockbuster, and a geolocation augmented reality app may just be its secret marketing weapon.

Two years ago, Pokémon Go made waves as the first really successful augmented reality app to gain a broad user base. While the mobile game was a stand-alone product and not marketing, it left us asking: “What could AR technology do for marketers?” This year, “Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom” is the summer’s latest blockbuster, and a geolocation augmented reality app may just be its secret marketing weapon.

Pokémon go was not insignificant for marketers. It broke ground by getting users to engage in a geolocation-based augmented reality experience (which continues to this day, the game still has a significant user base and recently added new features). And it was one of the first AR experiences to offer location-based digital advertising.

But Pokémon Go is a game, not a marketing experience. While it offers sponsorship opportunities, it does little to prove the role AR can play in a marketing campaign. That’s where Jurassic World Alive is different.

The New Breed of Branded Augmented Reality

This new, geolocation augmented reality game is, as Polygon puts it, “Pokémon Go, but With Dinosaurs.” And while it is stand-alone game with its own revenue model via in-game purchases, the entire experience was created through a partnership between Universal and Ludia, with built-in partnerships with AMC and Walmart.

The "News" tab on Jurassic World Alive links directly to the brand's social media pages and advertises that tickets can be purchased at your local AMC.
The “News” tab on Jurassic World Alive links directly to the brand’s social media pages and advertises that tickets can be purchased at your local AMC. | Credit: Jurassic World Alive by Thorin McGee

It should be noted that Ludia was not a part of Pokémon Go, and has developed several games on its own beyond Jurassic World Alive. So this type of game is not limited to certain developers. If you wanted to pursue one for your own brand, you should look for a studio like Ludia to help create it.

An important brand impression is made every time the user opens the app. And the game itself lines up perfectly with the theme of the movie, which sees the Jurassic World dinosaurs escape into our world.

There are several in-game mechanisms that allow Universal to use the app as a marketing base. For example, an in-game message system allows the brand to send marketing messages to every player. And an in-game news feed lights up with notifications whenever a new offer hits. The news section also links to the movie’s social media properties, and has a prominent banner reminding players to get their tickets at any local AMC.

Like Velociraptors, AR Marketers Hunt in Packs

The partnerships with Walmart and AMC are built right into the app. Each brand has special “supply drops” at its locations that give players generous bonuses for entering the storefront and engaging.

When Walmart has a new supply drop, players are greeted with a full-page ad telling them to pick it up a their local Walmart.

The nearest AMC is that red dot in the background. The big crocodile is a "Sarcosuchus."
The nearest AMC is that red dot in the background. The big crocodile is a “Sarcosuchus.” | Credit: Juassic World Alive by Thorin McGee

The AMC partnership is more prominent in the game. In addition to the call to action to visit AMC to pick up your tickets, “nearby” AMC locations are also marked on the player map, even if the closest one is miles away. Inside, the supply drop is very generous, especially over the movie’s opening weekend. I understnad the digital swag given away was enough to sway several gaming movie-goers I know to visit the closest AMC over competing chains.

AR apps and geolocation have come a long way for digital marketing purposes. They’re not right for all brands, but when the brand opportunity lines up with the features of the platform, it’s a great chance to change the rules of your customer experience.

How do they fit into your marketing strategy? Let’s talk about it in the comments.

Add More Traffic With Universal and Extended Search Optimization

If your organic search optimization plan does not include optimization for pertinent elements of both universal and extended search, you may be missing out on a surprising amount of traffic.

SEOIf your organic search optimization plan does not include optimization for pertinent elements of both universal and extended search, you may be missing out on a surprising amount of traffic.

In the beginning, organic search optimization was focused on the pursuit of top placements for your site’s pages. Search has evolved and so, too, must your optimization plan.

Today, instead of 10 blue links on a page, most contain 8.5. An array of universal and extended search elements enhance and complement the Google search results pages. The inclusion of maps, images, video results, the Knowledge Box and Twitter results enhance the user experience and speed searchers to their desired information.

A recent white paper from Searchmetrics looked at the results from approximately 500,000 general, frequently searched terms. Because Google increasingly is applying different algorithms for mobile vs. desktop searches, the results from both were analyzed. This study clearly shows that any optimization plan is incomplete, unless it includes the elements of both universal and extended search.

Universal Search — Vertical Search Integrated Into the Results Page

Universal search, launched in 2007, was Google’s integration directly into the search results of vertical search elements that had previously been developed as separate search engines. These included: shopping, news, videos, images and maps. Although showing up integrated into the search results page, these vertical silos of information can still be accessed from tabs on the Google results page.

The type of elements displayed vary depending on the keyword search. For example, a search for a “Zen frog fountain” yields a results page rich in images and shopping details. There is even a video. A search for your local hospital will yield a results page with a map and directions.

Each element in universal search has its own optimization requirements, and many organic SEO plans employ them. The SEO can clearly guide the optimization of images so that relevant product images will be included in the array of images shown for keyword searches.

For e-commerce merchants, it is quite important to optimize all of your images, because they can drive substantial amounts of traffic. Similarly, video content can be readily optimized using available guidelines.

Google’s emphasis on quality of the information and the authority of the source has driven the evolution of news optimization from press releases to publishers. Today, the news integration includes just the freshest and most authoritative sources. Because the news elements evolved from vertical search, there are a set of guidelines for optimization of news.

Not all elements are equally important for every business, but traffic can be gained by optimizing all the germane elements.

Extended Search — More Boxes and Features

Extended search is the term applied to the additions to the search results that are not based on vertical search engines. These results are algorithmically developed from a variety of internal and external sources available to Google. Extended search includes: The Knowledge Graph, the image carousel, the Twitter Cards, the direct answer/fact boxes, the related questions that are delivered along with the direct answers, and the app packs found in mobile searches.

Because the results pull information from a number of sources, they are much more difficult to optimize for. They are best viewed as the result of a broad footprint of information that will satisfy the demands of these elements.

For example, the Knowledge Graph relies on Google My Business and Wikipedia information. If your company has a complete profile on these two key sources, you will be feeding the information needed to drive the Knowledge Graph. Similarly, sites with recipes, events and reviews can use structured data to enhance the likelihood of appearing in the direct answers boxes.

As we move into the fourth quarter and plan for the next year, do be sure to review the universal search and expanded search elements that have the most traffic-driving potential for your business and strategize for how to include them in your optimization planning.