augmented reality

Augmented Reality vs. QR Codes


Augmented reality and QR codes are emerging technologies and powerful marketing tools. Companies haven’t considered the possibility of using augmented reality-enabled packaging or QR codes to offer customers valuable interactions when they browse should strongly consider making the change.

In order to take advantage of these technologies, companies should understand the differences between them, their strengths, and how to use them to their greatest effect.

How Does Augmented Reality Work? 

The technology behind augmented reality (or AR) is to superimpose digital images onto reality, typically through a device with a camera. Using AR, a customer can use his or her mobile device to scan AR-enabled content, such as AR-enabled packaging. AR is essentially the combination of real world imaging and digital content in real time.

Marketers and product developers have a fantastic amount of potential when it comes to leveraging AR into their packaging and advertising. Instead of simply relying on visual package design, AR-enabled packaging offers customers interactive experiences and expanded information that cannot be contained on a physical label. These are more memorable interactions than catchy ads and marketing media, and they can ultimately build brand loyalty.

RELATED ARTICLE: 5 Advantages of Augmented Reality Packaging

How to Use QR Codes Effectively

Quick Response (or QR) codes work a bit differently than AR. Instead of manipulating images in real-time, QR codes are scannable, black and white squares with different combinations of blocks, similar to a UPC barcode. When someone scans a QR code with a QR reader application on a smartphone or other internet-enabled device, the code takes the user to a specific website, image or piece of content.

Marketers can leverage QR codes as an effective marketing tool by including them on advertisements, as accompaniments to printed media or as part of product packaging. Customers can quickly scan QR codes and go straight to content that allows them to, for example, download a promotional offer or sign up for a mailing list.

Take Advantage of Emerging Marketing Tools with Century Label

AR and QR codes may work somewhat similarly, but they require careful placement and execution to achieve the greatest effect. Think about whether AR-enabled packaging or printed QR codes could make a difference in your marketing efforts.

Century Label has nearly 40 years of experience helping clients with labeling and product package design. We understand how important it is to stand out from the competition and provide your customers and clients with valuable, memorable experiences. If you are interested in learning how to use more advanced technologies with your product packaging, contact Century Label today to learn more about how these tools can help drive customer engagement with your brand.

Century Label is always in touch with the latest in packaging and labeling solutions. Improve the visibility of your brand with shrink sleeves or other options by contacting us for a prompt quote for your chosen products.

Bring Your Packaging to Life!

Don’t get left behind! Request a quote today to take your printed labels into the digital realm and bring your packaging to life by making augmented reality a reality.

3 Features of AR Packaging You May Not Be Considering


When it comes to packaging your product and amplifying your brand, options really are limitless. You have your choice of packaging materials, color schemes, fonts, images and more, making it more possible than ever before to design packaging that truly carries the message your brand represents. With the advent of augmented reality (AR) packaging, your customers can experience your branding in a whole new way.

What Is AR Packaging?

It may be easier to describe what AR packaging isn’t: it’s not your average, static, online shopping experience.

Instead, AR packaging offers your potential customers the option to interact virtually with your product with the use of an electronic device. Augmented reality is, in turn, the blending of the consumer’s surrounding environment with additional, digital aspects to enhance the experience.

Let’s suppose, for a moment, that your company produces a line of candies commonly sold in grocery stores. You could appeal to the tweens and teenagers who consistently purchase them by adding interactive elements to the packaging. When the consumer uses an AR app and directs his or her phone camera at your product, interactive games appear on the consumer’s phone screen. Alternatively, you could choose to provide nutritional information, brand history, or practically any other interactive feature you can imagine.

RELATED ARTICLE: Bringing Packaging to Life with AR

Why Should You Consider AR Packaging?

AR packaging offers your brand the opportunity to connect with customers on a deeper level.

Whether it’s by providing access to enhanced information your customers crave, or engaging them through fun features like games and trivia, AR packaging goes the extra mile that a static packaging scheme cannot.

If your brand offers some unique feature not easily explained by traditional packaging, AR packaging could be the solution you’ve been looking for to educate your customer base about all those details you can’t fit on a box.

AR packaging also offers appeal and collectibility for the digital generation. Providing games or other unique features on each of a limited-edition set of packaging designs, for example, can help you engage a new group of consumers in purchasing your products.

Consider Coca Cola’s use of AR during the 2014 World Cup, or McDonald’s interactive packaging during several recent sporting events.

RELATED ARTICLE: 5 Advantages of Augmented Reality Packaging

What’s Next for AR Packaging?

Although it’s used by many larger corporations, the bounds of AR packaging have yet to be explored. Companies such as IKEA are experimenting with implementing AR features into their catalogs, allowing the user to virtually place furniture into their own homes.

Meanwhile, AR features on popular makeup brand products allow the user to test makeup in the company’s app.

How far could you take your brand with AR packaging? Really, the only boundaries are the limits of your imagination.

RELATED ARTICLE: The Future of AR in Packaging

Bring Your Packaging to Life!

Century Label is ready to help you take your traditional label and implement AR into your next print project with us. Our AR services are available as an add-on feature, and we can guide you on the best way to incorporate this technology into your existing artwork.

Don’t get left behind! Request a quote today to take your printed labels into the digital realm and bring your packaging to life by making augmented reality a reality.

The Future of AR in Packaging

Augmented reality (AR) is still a young technology. AR mixes the real with technical enhancements that will transform package design by giving consumers additional multimedia information at the touch of a button, or the read of a QR code. 

Augmented reality already plays an important role in brand experiences and dictates how consumers interact with the products they use every day. As AR continues to gain popularity, we will see how it will take packaging to the next level and change the way that consumers make choices.


The Potential of AR

Today’s digital marketers spend more money on advertising than ever before. Shoppers crave interactive relationships with brands that allow them to do more than just consume goods, but experience them. Leveraging the power of smartphones and other mobile devices, marketing departments are starting to realize the power these devices can have in creating immersive experiences for users.

Augmented reality has particular untapped potential in the packaging industry, as brands can use it to improve the knowledge and loyalty of their product, stand out from the crowd, and entice new consumers. With little more than a QR code, brands can begin to enjoy the benefits of AR for themselves.

Benefits of Incorporating AR in Packaging

Brands can enjoy several distinct advantages of leveraging augmented reality in their packaging:

  • Create a virtual element to add to your label, connecting users to more useful information. With AR, brands are no longer limited by the space on the label. Businesses can use AR to provide trivia, nutrition information, recipes, and more.

  • Create brand loyalty. By presenting information in an engaging manner, marketers can create memorable experiences that make people more enthusiastic about the product and more likely to purchase it again.

How the Industry Can Keep Up

Packagers and businesses face an important challenge as we move deeper into the digital revolution. First, they must ensure that their products succeed and overcome the risks that would be associated with rebranding or repackaging. 

The future of brand and product marketing will be immersive, interactive, and personalized.

At the same time, incorporating AR/VR into labelling will be worth the investment, especially when considering that the mobile devices of the future will come with built-in AR/VR technology. With this barrier to access a moot point, most consumers of the near future will be ready to absorb augmented reality content. Packagers should be ready with dynamic advertising solution options for companies.

By incorporating AR elements into packaging, businesses can successfully create useful content for consumers that inspires brand loyalty and attracts consumers to their products. With early adoption of AR packaging, businesses can gain a competitive edge in the digital marketing environment. Packagers will be ready to meet this demand with options to suit company demand.

Bring Your Packaging to Life!

Century Label is ready to help you take your traditional label and implement AR into your next print project with us. Our AR services are available as an add-on feature, and we can guide you on the best way to incorporate this technology into your existing artwork.

Don’t get left behind! Request a quote today to take your printed labels into the digital realm and bring your packaging to life by making augmented reality a reality.

5 Advantages of Augmented Reality Packaging


Augmented reality (AR) provides a way for people to interact with a real environment through portable devices. AR adds layers and dimensions of interacting with the environment not possible in the real world. Companies are taking advantage of this new technology in the way they package goods for consumers.

How to Use AR with Your Packaging

There are several ways that AR can bring customers and products closer together, to make the shopping experience more entertaining and meaningful.

  1. Many products have small labels. AR can be practical by magnifying those small labels and making them easier to read.

  2. Enhance your catalog with AR, as Ikea did. When you wave your smartphone over the pages, you get the option to design a 360-degree view of a room with Ikea products, as well as watch videos and interact with 3D models of items they’re selling.

  3. Make the shopping experience more convenient, like Topshop did. With augmented reality dressing rooms, customers at Topshop can see how a garment would look on them without having to physically try it on. Trackers in the dressing room superimpose your choice of clothing on your body so you can see, quickly and easily, how it would look and fit.

  4. Spice up your print ads with some kinetic action. With HP Reveal, Lexus makes their cars come to life, turning into 3D versions that can drive right off the page. This digital experience is entertaining and makes the product even more attractive.

  5. Use AR for special promotions. Heineken’s logo, when scanned, produces a digital 3D globe that customers can explore. They also offered sweepstakes prizes for the Latin Grammy Awards which generated lots of interest in their product.

Use Augmented Reality Wisely

Just because you can use augmented reality doesn’t mean that it should be used without a plan. Experts note that some instances of AR can backfire or be a waste of time.

As always, know your audience. If you are selling a medicine used primarily by the elderly, AR packaging may be helpful, but not if the consumer is unable to use it. Many older customers do not look for AR or are not even aware of it. AR is a product enhancement that will be more attractive to younger consumers.

Remember that gimmicks wear out their welcome pretty quickly. AR should enliven the connection between customer and product, it should mean something with respect to the product. Having AR without a strategy it will not heighten the experience and can even distance potential customers from the product.

Know your audience and keep the experience meaningful. If you approach AR in the right way, it can invigorate your connection with your clients and make your products stand out.

Contact Century Label to discover new possibilities and applications for augmented reality.