Free augmented reality app activated by scans from product purchases is a first for Italy.
Mondo TV, one of the largest European producers and distributors of animated content, has announced the launch of an innovative new game app for its highly popular animated kids’ show, Robot Trains. Using augmented reality to create an immersive customer experience, the app will work alongside product from Robot Trains licensees to entertain and excite the fans, raise awareness of the brand and promote the fast-growing selection of Robot Trains merchandise.
There is no in-app purchase; the Robot Trains app is free. Once they have downloaded the app, kids can soon play two games and experience live interactions with their favourite characters. In this way they can feel like they are next to their heroes on the platform and enjoy the magic of an immersive experience with the brand. Furthermore, a virtual cards collector – where each card matches a specific merchandising category – offers a wide selection of games accessible by purchasing a product. To take part in new game sessions players unlock cards by simply scanning the product packaging.
But that’s not all. Mondo has gone even further – incorporating 3D recognition into the app’s features. This activates the physical product in 3D, which then, with the help of AR, allows kids to feel like part of the real action.
Silvia D’Archivio, heading Marketing Communication at Mondo TV Group, says: “A few years ago, content was king. Today, I’d suggest, “Experience is king”. With that in mind – and paying close attention to emerging trends in digital innovation – we have been looking for a bridge between physical interaction and digital engagement. Now, thanks to a collaboration with Bitbuu, the company that has developed the Robot trains AR app, Mondo TV is able to pioneer new possibilities for imaginative play, giving fans a personalized experience with their favourite characters.”
Fans are not the only beneficiaries of the new app, of course. The entire operation was very much designed to support Robot Trains licensees, who have shown their belief in the brand and who consistently work in synergy with Mondo TV and its aims.
This is a first for the Italian licensing market. While some international giants have pioneered promotions using AR apps, to date there have been no competitive brands in Italy aiming to associate physical product with immersive reality in order to offer customers a new experience with a brand. With the arrival of the Mondo Robot Trains app, that has now changed.
The app becomes widely available in March, when it will be supported by a major media campaign, with strong input from Cartoonito in Italy, where the season 2 premieres started on 11 February. Coinciding with the new series’ launch, the channel is rolling out an extraordinary promotional strategy, both on-air and off-air.
At the same time, two preview episodes have also been made available online on the dedicated Robot Trains web page hosted on the Cartoonito website (www.cartoonito.it/serie-tv/robot-trains). Visiting fans have been able to have even more fun with interactive contents including a game set in Mountainland World, one of the settings for the show.
This is a carefully planned strategy that not only allows Mondo TV to gain strong visibility but also makes the most of a strategic multichannel approach in which Mondo leverages different key assets: TV, the website, the Robot Trains AR app and much more.
Robot Trains is an exciting animated series for children aged between four and seven years set in Train World, where all the citizens are trains – but some can transform into robots!
Robot Trains is produced by CJ E&M, Asia’s leading content and media company. It is distributed and licensed by Mondo TV in a number of territories across Europe, including Italy, Spain and Portugal, the Middle East and the Pacific region. Mondo is not only distributing and licensing the first season (32 x 11) and second season (52 x 11) of Robot Trains in all these territories but has also partnered with CJ E&M to co-produce series two.
The first series of Robot Trains already broadcasts on a number of leading free-to-air channels, including Cartoonito in Italy and Gulli in France, Carousel in Russia, Dkids in the Middle East, Cartoonito UK, Clan TVE in Spain and Canal Panda in Portugal. Following the airing of season two on Gulli and Carousel – other than Cartoonito in Italy – in mid-February more territory announcements are imminent.
Licensing activity for Robot Trains is also strong in a number of territories, where toys, confectionery and snacks, books, puzzles, confectionery decorations, live characters and events, stickers and trading cards, carnival costumes, personal care products and paper handkerchiefs are just some of the items in shops or soon to appear at retail.
Valentina La Macchia, Mondo TV Licensing Director, says: “We are very enthusiastic about this initiative and, based on the interest shown by our partners, we have high expectations. Today it is important to support the sell-out of the products and with this app we can do it in an innovative and original way”.