Over 1,000 people have now taken part in a world first in Manchester – finding virtual monsters hidden among landmarks throughout the city. The free Manchester Monster Hunt uses an Augmented Reality (AR) app to enable members of the public to find virtual objects within the physical world, from Demons on Deansgate to Poltergeists at The Printworks, using an iPhone or Android phone. Once a monster is found, there are opportunities to slay them to win prizes, or photograph yourself and friends alongside the beast. Photos are starting to appear on social networking sites such as Facebook, Twitter and Flicker.
The campaign is the brainchild of Manchester-based Gencia Media and its AR arm, Your Brand Reality. “Until now, AR has mainly been used for practical purposes – such as finding the nearest underground station in London or GPS tourist landmarks including hotels and restaurants,” says campaign manager, Gary Lovatt. “We wanted to take AR a step further by engaging the public in something fun, exciting and addictive, both online and on their phones. The opportunity for them to win prizes offers a great incentive too, and a brand new platform for the campaign’s sponsors to engage with their various audiences.”
The campaign, which has already featured Vampires and Zombies, will release a new beast every week leading up to Halloween and beyond. As Halloween approaches, other cities throughout the UK are also expected to receive their own guest ‘visits’ from the Monsters.