Move over, Black Friday, and make way for Black Hack Friday — a new BoohooMan project that launched Monday to claim its stake in augmented reality shopping.
With Hack Friday, the first AR campaign from London-based Boohoo.com’s mens wear extension, the e-commerce purveyor plastered billboards and fly posters around the world with QR codes. Essentially, people scan the codes to unlock exclusive promotions, which will be applicable on top of Boohooman.com offers, with special deals to drop on Black Friday and Cyber Monday.
The premise feels familiar, but how it’s delivered is notable: Instead of a static product page or coupon code popping open, the scanning action triggers the arrival of Robin, a young hacker avatar “who has infiltrated the world of fashion by offering up unexpected discounts for all consumers,” according to a spokesperson.
In tone, the online fashion company described it as a “dystopian vision,” which works for its young, urban focus.
“Our aim was to lift traditional billboard spaces by utilizing augmented reality alongside the cyber hacking revolution,” said Victoria Pearson, BoohooMan’s head of e-commerce. “This campaign is the first of a number of digital projects we are working on to provide more value to customers long-term.”
It smacks of Pokémon Go, but for the fashion consumer. The AR game’s popularity has led to projects with brands and retailers, primarily tech outlets or game shops and grocery stores. But it has also nabbed occasional fashion partnerships with the likes of Longchamp Paris, Gucci and Fashion Week in recent years.
These days, much of the mixed reality hype swirls around the metaverse. While plenty of attention goes to fully immersive virtual worlds, AR — which layers visuals, information and interfaces on top of the real world — serves as another critical access point. It’s a way into the concept that carries more business viability, at least right now, as it’s already been tried and tested through features like virtual beauty try-ons, branding experiments in Snapchat Lenses and other experiences.
That all makes the timing look right to dive in. “This is an exciting time for the BoohooMan. We are able to give customers the opportunity to scan our posters and billboards around the world to receive special offers and experience our virtual reality,” said chief executive officer Samir Kamani. “We’re proud to be one of the first to launch an interactive digital experience on this scale.”