Augmented reality case study: Faber-Castell app takes viewers to “Never Ending Forest”

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In 2016, pencil brand Faber launched an app using augmented reality, as part of their sustainability project. This case study looks at how the app became the most downloaded educational app at AppStore Brasil.

The Never-Ending Forest APP from Pablo Manzotti on Vimeo.

Case study summary

• Pencil maker wanted seasonal campaign to coincide with start of school term
• “Never Ending Forest” app used augmented reality to transform pencils into animals when k
• Got 600,000 downloads in 90 days, which represents 150% over the initial business targetto

The challenge

Every new school term is crucial for the pencil business category. But how to compete for kids attention when we talk about pencils but the main thing kids have in their hands nowadays is a mobile phone?

Faber-Castell created a mobile centric campaign. Having an app as the centre of all activities, but also making usage of traditional and social media.

Kids love spending time playing games on their mobiles, taking and sharing pictures and watching Youtube videos. Targeting kids age 7 to 12-years-old, the approach Faber-Castell took was to find an intersection between two territories: the cultural relevance of gaming and the importance of using pencils made of reforested wood.

The Online Advert titled The Never-Ending Forest App was done by Vetor Zero/Lobo advertising agency for Faber-Castell in Brazil. It was released in the Oct 2016.

The solution

The Never Ending Forest is an app that works like a game. Using Augmented Reality, it shows Ecopencils Faber-Castell transforming into animals when kids point the camera of their phones to a different colour of pencil. Twelve different animals were released, matching with the twelve colours of the new Faber-Castell Ecopencil case.

The app also allowed kids to take pictures with the animals they unlock, to collect them, to get information about animals and also to colour and customise their own version, seeing them coming to life using augmented reality too.

The campaign started in early December as a teaser, using tradicional and social media, to raise awareness about the importance of using Faber-Castell Ecopencils made of reforested wood. The app was launched a month later, matching with the moment when kids came back to school for a new term.

The animals that live in the forest where the Ecopencils come from were used as the main visual hook to engage kids in a game using augmented reality. By pointing their camera phones to a pencil, kids could see the pencil transforming into an animal.

The idea was to collect them, unlocking new functions within the app.

In the first week, only three of the twelve collectible animals were available. And every following week a new animal was released, keeping kids engaged in the activity for longer.

Since Ecopencils are made from reforested wood, the app introduced kids to the idea of reforestation and the importance of using an Ecopencil Faber-Castell to preserve trees and also to preserve animals that live in the forest. The app worked like a game, using augmented reality to transform pencils into animals, every time kids pointed their phone cameras to a pencil. The final go was to stimulate kids imagination and also their notion of environmental preservation.

The results

The Never-Ending Forest app had 600.000 downloads in 90 days, which represents 150% over the initial business target. It was the most downloaded educational app at AppStore Brasil and a Top5 entertainment app at Google Play Brasil. In total, the campaign had 76 million impressions, 12 million impacts, 18 million views and 4,5 million engagements on Facebook and Instagram.

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