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February 22, 2018updated 23 Feb 2018 1:40pm

Yili Weikezi milk drink uses augmented reality packaging

Chinese dairy company Yili Weikezi has started using augmented reality (AR) on the packaging of its milk cartons.

By Robert Scammell

Chinese dairy company Yili Weikezi has started using augmented reality (AR) on the packaging of its milk cartons.

A voiceprint of Lu Han, a popular singer in China, is printed on each milk package. Scanning the voiceprint with a specific smartphone app plays an audio greeting, with each flavour—coffee, strawberry, banana and chocolate—having a unique message.

The app also features floating planets that consumers can play with and customise: they can tap the planets for sound, record their own voiceprints, create their own planets using AR and voiceprint technology, and share the results with their friends.

“Making product packaging ‘come alive’ with AR has tremendous potential for fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG),” said GlobalData innovation insights director Tom Vierhile.

“We are just beginning to see FMCG companies explore the possibilities.”

Last year, Australian wine brand 19 Crimes launched an app that used AR to bring its wine labels to life, with a prisoner pictured on the label moving their lips and talking when scanned with a smartphone.

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As early as 2009, Nestlé launched a 3D AR video game based on the animated film Rio on over 26 million of its cereal boxes, spanning over 53 countries.

But despite AR being used in packaging for nearly a decade it is yet to become ubiquitous, with concerns remaining about customer acceptance and its gimmicky nature.

However, data suggests that there is stronger appeal for AR packaging in China.

“According to GlobalData’s Q1 2017 consumer survey, 23% of global consumers say interactive packaging is exciting; the figure rises to 31% for Chinese consumers,” said Vierhile. “An additional 40% of Chinese consumers say this type of packaging is nice to have, a good sign for Yili Weikezi milk drink.”

In 2008 Yili Weikezi was a sponsor of the Beijing Olympic Games, a partnership that helped it become the first Asian dairy company to rank among the world’s top ten, according to Rabobank’s 2014 Global Dairy Top 20 Report.

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