100+ Year Old Organization Uses Augmented Reality (AR) to engage their Millennial Demographic

The NMCRS enlisted us to create an Augmented Reality (AR) campaign that increased awareness around the brand, its services, offerings, and encouraged interest in personal finances & financial responsibility. We used CrossComm’s (our development partner), proprietary Living Pictures AR app as the platform. We then utilized NMCRS’s current financial education videos, and developed a campaign that included consultation, strategy, development, project management, storylining, character development, animation, design, internal training, and implementation, laying the foundation for a successful project.

THE NEED: Increased engagement and awareness of the NMCRS’s offerings and services, and in particular, their financial education video content. THE GOAL: To develop a cohesive outreach program, utilizing AR, to engage and educate Sailors and Marines about financial matters during a 6-month span.

“We’re grateful for our partnership”

As new users of the augmented reality platform, we had the utmost confidence in the guidance provided by Christine and Matt. This wonderful team demonstrated initiative, dependability, approachability and professionalism from beginning to end! We’re grateful for this wonderful partnership. – SUSAN WHITE, NMCRS

Opportunity & Challenge

Above all, NMCRS wanted to close the gap between generations and make learning about personal finances more approachable for Millennials. Becuase the average age of Enlisted Navy and Marines is under 30, the organization needed an innovative, tech-friendly approach to capture this audience and meet their brand vision.

Back in 1904 when NMCRS was founded, they were the only organization of their kind. However, now the oldest and most established program for Navy & Marine financial support is competing with other nonprofits who have similar aims. In order to be heard in an increasingly populated landscape, they needed an initiative that would expose them to new audiences and further engage members with their mission and offerings.

The Plan

Our collective goal? To appeal to 18-28 year olds in a new way that went beyond simply using social media. We targeted augmented reality (AR) as a great way to better engage this demographic, overlaying emerging technology into their financial videos, amplifying the message. With a total of 18 videos we needed to break the content into 3 digestible topics, with 6 videos per topic. We were then able to release 1 short AR video, per topic, each month for 6 months. We further
incentivized participation by creating a tiered monthly prize drawing for completing a video. We even found a donor who wholeheartedly supported the program and was eager to donate the monthly prizes, which included 2 Amazon Fire Tablets, 2 Fitbits, 2 AirPods, and a Playstation 4 Pro grand prize.

By working with and integrating ourselves as a part of the NMCRS team, we worked with their current vendors to seamlessly integrate and build up marketing, communication, and creative design efforts. This included email marketing, social media, and website platforms.

Deliverables

Our most significant deliverable was the 19 animated AR financial video experiences. For each video, we created characters along with a written and animated script corresponding to each topic to make the video series cohesive and seamless. This was combined with digital assets, marketing materials, and in-person events that brought the campaign together.

AUGMENTED REALITY

  • 19 animations included: 1 introductory experience & 18 financial video experiences.
  • Each script was written, animated, and then added to the current financial videos.
  • Created 2 characters to tie all the videos and campaign together
  • Created a NMCRS “channel” in the Living Pictures app
  • Designed 3 trigger images to represent the 3 financial topics: Life Happens, Debt
    Destroyer, & My Money
  • Created a 3D, animated promotional AR experience for the MDM tradeshow

MARKETING & DIGITAL

  • Designed 4 Landing pages – one introductory, and 1 for each of the 3 topics
  • Wrote 2 emails per month
  • Recommended social media calendar
  • Wrote 1 campaign and app FAQ page
  • Assisted with 1 blog post
  • Designed 1 wallet card to promote the campaign
  • Designed 1 poster for the 50+ bases across the country
  • 1 Flyer to post at bases
  • Created a video tutorial on how to use the
  • Living Pictures app

OTHER

  • Found a donor for monthly and grand prizes
  • Held 4 Training sessions to prep the NMCRS staff of the program
  • Promoted the campaign at the Modern Day Marine trade show
  • Mailed the winners their prizes each month
  • Led weekly progress meetings
  • Composed a project summary and analytics report

The Results

The campaign took viewership of the video content from an average of less than 50 views per video to them being seen more than 8,300 times. The program also seemed to foster in person discussions, not just with members, but with internal staff as well.

Downloads: 1,063 • Total Views: 8,294

Most Popular Category: Life Happens

Least Popular Category: My Money

The message also spread outside of the organization as far as the NFL. Trey Marshall, a safety for the Denver Broncos, chose the NMCRS and our AR financial campaign for their “My Cause, My Cleats” charity fundraiser. The financial AR characters, AR-19 and Pig E Banks, were hand painted on his cleats, and now run the 40-yard dash in under 5 seconds!

“Olio brings fresh & creative ideas”

I want to personally thank you for your professionalism, enthusiasm, creative talent and invaluable support. Taking time to produce this creative brief was definitely what we call in the military, “above and beyond the call of duty.” We all recognize and appreciate the value you bring to this project. Your positive attitude is contagious. – RETIRED US NAVY COMMANDER JOHN W. ALEXANDER, NAVY-MARINE CORPS RELIEF SOCIETY

What we learned

As the AR experiences get longer, we found a corresponding reduction in the number of participants who completed the videos in their entirety. The lesson?
For most target-based AR, keep non-interactive content under 30 seconds when possible because attention spans are very short.

Simply using technology isn’t enough. Once the novelty of an AR experience wears off. Technology needs to be used with a purpose, utilizing the strengths of AR to extend interaction with the user long after the initial engagement has taken place. User experience may take more time & effort to create, but it pays dividends when it comes to marketing to a younger target audience that expects well-designed content.

Wanna try it? It’s easy!

  • Simply download our FREE app ‘Living Pictures’
  • Tap our ‘Olio’ logo
  • Click the green ‘Start’ button
  • Use any one of the 3 icons on the right
  • Ensure only 1 icon in camera view at a time
  • Zoom in and hold your phone over an icon

Let’s support each other

We believe in supporting the future of Navy and Marine families. You can help by donating to the cause so all enlisted members, spouses, children, and survivors
can have the financial assistance they need.

DONATE to the NMCRS

Have a project in mind?
Lets make something great together!

Get in Touch