AR for Product Packaging: What Brands Need to Know


Fiona Hutcheson

Fiona Hutcheson
Augmented Reality

AR for Product Packaging: What Brands Need to Know

Your packaging is often the first experience someone has with your brand. But even if they’ve already interacted with your products and services, the quality and experience of your packaging have the power to reinforce or replace existing opinions.

In other words, it’s essential you leverage this opportunity to connect with your audience in a unique and meaningful way, and augmented reality (AR) for product packaging offers a proven way to do just that.

Here’s everything you need to know about AR for product packaging, including how it works, why you should consider it, and two brands who do it well.

How Does AR for Product Packaging Work?

AR packaging helps you relay information quickly and clearly through 3D content — rather than relying solely on traditional 2D formats. In addition to helping you stand out from your competitors, adding augmented reality to packaging can improve the customer experience by captivating shoppers with your brand story, suggesting digital coupons, providing additional product information, or suggesting complementary products.When it comes to implementation, there are two options for AR for product packaging: using a QR code to ignite the AR content or housing the experience in a mobile app. The best option for you depends on the environment and the audience. Either way, the customer will start by scanning the box. Then, the packaging will come to life with interactive video and animation overlays that appear to be playing on the very box itself, immersing your audience in an entertaining and informative product experience. Brands can include 3D models, video files, annotated text, and even audio to tell their story.

Benefits of Using Augmented Reality in Brand Packaging

There are several advantages to implementing AR for product packaging. To name just a few:

It extends package real estate

It’s almost impossible to include everything you want to communicate on your product packaging without overwhelming your audience or negatively impacting design. AR allows you to move beyond the physical constraints of a package and deliver additional information in an aesthetically appealing and compelling way.

It’s easily accessible

A smartphone is all you need to access AR packaging. And a whopping 81 percent of American adults own a smartphone, according to data from Pew Research Center. In other words, it’s an excellent way to deliver an immersive experience without requiring headsets or other expensive equipment.

It creates a memorable customer experience

The novelty of AR packaging alone is enough to deepen and extend customer reach. Not only does it invite your audience to spend more time with your product and your brand message, but it encourages sharing as well. Because this is still a somewhat rare and emerging practice, people are more likely to document their experience and share it with others.

Two Brands Who Do AR Packaging Right

If you're interested in exploring the possibilities of AR packaging for your product, take inspiration from these two brands who did it right.

19 Crimes

This premium Australian wine gets its name from the group of British prisoners who, in the 18th century, were transported to the land down-under after committing one of the period's infamous 19 crimes. The brand’s Living Wine Labels App, which has been downloaded over 500,000 times, brings prisoners’ mugshots to life so they can share their unique stories in a way that’s as fascinating as it is eerie. And the app has proven to be a powerful point-of-sale tool for the brand. Samantha Collins, 19 Crimes Brand Director, reported that at one in-store tasting, where the brand would normally sell 18 bottles in an afternoon, they sold 18 cases.

Jack Daniels

Jack Daniels, the beloved top-selling American whiskey brand uses AR for product packaging to share the brand’s rich history and educate its audience on the whiskey-making process using a pop-up book style aesthetic. The black-and-white design complements the company’s iconic black label and allows app users to choose from three different experiences. The first transforms the front of the label into a mini Jack Daniel distillery, the second walks users through the process of making the iconic whiskey, and the third shares stories of Jack Daniel himself. In a press release about the AR experience, Modern Media Director for the brand said, "In today’s world, it’s important for us to reach fans and consumers where they are. That means sharing content that’s unique, interesting and relevant through a variety of digital mediums."

Your product’s packaging is one of the most important — and often underutilized — spaces for generating interest and fostering long-term loyalty. By leveraging AR tech directly on your packages, you can create experiences that keep customers coming back to your brand again and again.

Product packaging is just one of the many incredible use cases for AR. Learn more about what brands like yours are doing with augmented reality technology.