augmented reality

4 AR Labels That Shook the Industry

AR-enhanced living wine labels from 19 Crimes

The idea of using augmented reality (AR) to boost a product was, until recently, something only found in the world of Harry Potter. Now, businesses using AR for their labeling is a fairly common practice—and something that shows a real return on the investment.

How Does AR Work on a Product Label?

Current AR technology is possible with most modern smartphones. Using the device’s camera, an AR reader app scans the surrounding environment and enhances the display for the user. This technology has evolved tremendously in just a few short years; AR is making incredible strides in fields outside of marketing like medical training, education, public safety and product development. Today, AR labels can provide customers with real-time product demonstrations, supplemental information, previews of how products will look and function.

RELATED ARTICLE: Augmented Reality vs. QR Codes

AR Labeling Success Stories

Companies considering AR-enabled labels for their branded products should look at some of the most recent successful AR campaigns. Four of the most impressive AR label examples from recent years include:

  • Buffalo Wild Wings. Everyone knows that Buffalo Wild Wings is a great place to enjoy good food and a game with friends and family. It’s also a great place for customers who enjoy tableside competitive games. Buffalo Wild Wings recently took tableside competitive games to the next level with an AR-enhanced viewing experience with the Big Shot Challenge for the NCAA Final Four.

  • Lego. Kids of all ages have enjoyed building with Lego for years, and the company just took their experience to the next level with AR-enabled viewing screens in their brick-and-mortar store locations. When a customer carries a box over to an AR screen, the screen starts playing a real-time AR display of the Lego set coming together on top of the box.

  • Red Bull. The Red Bull marketing team created the Red Bull Augmented Reality Racing game to provide customers with the unique experience of crafting their own digital racetracks using Red Bull cans, which they could then race using a smartphone or camera-enabled touchscreen device like an iPod Touch.

  • 19 Crimes. Think of this as Pokémon Go for adults. The name of this wine refers to 18th century Britain and a list of crimes that were punishable by “transportation”—offenders were sent to live in Australia in lieu of suffering the death penalty. Some of these infractions include impersonating an Egyptian, stealing letters, and bigamy. Now, these “criminals” come to life and tell their side of the story through inventive AR labels

AR can offer surprising, memorable, and valuable experiences in countless ways. Virtually every modern smartphone has a camera, and developing an AR-enabled app is easier than one might expect.

RELATED ARTICLE: 3 Features of AR Packaging You May Not Be Considering

Capture Your Audience’s Attention with AR-Enabled Product Labels

Century Label has nearly 40 years of experience helping customers create beautiful, memorable labels for various industries and applications, and we can help you transform a traditional label into a living experience.

Our label design team will work closely with you to determine the best applications for AR technology in your product labels, taking you through every step of the process, preserving the integrity of your brand and using high-quality printing techniques. Contact us today to learn more about AR-enabled labels and start thinking of the possibilities for your brand.

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.