How quick many were to scratch their heads in puzzlement over an augmented reality project launched by Hotels.com in May 2010.
The Expedia-owned hotel service created a rather surreal mash-up between a promotion, game and trip planning tool to form VirtualVacation.
Essentially it was a microsite bolted on to Hotels.com that allowed users to explore ten cities in the US by combining webcam technology with live interaction and storytelling.
A clip is still the best way of explaining the idea:
Fast forward three months and Hotels.com is claiming some pretty mind-blowing statistics as a result of the campaign around the VirtualVacation project.
Speaking at the InterACT Conference in the US last week, Hotels.com senior director of brand marketing Vic Walia outlined what the project had contributed to in terms of key performance metrics.
- 277 million media impressions (apparently worth around $14 million of advertising)
- Hotels.com traffic increased 26%.
- Transactions up 36%.
- Welcome Reward programme registrations up 32%.
Although Hotels.com launched a TV ad campaign in the UK
at around the same time, this would not account for the some key indicators soaring by around a third each time.
So, AR does work then...?
NB: Waiting for further detail on the reporting period statistics.