In the New York Times print edition of Thursday, there are three advertisements that come to life with Google Lens for Netflix’s Stranger Things 3. The advertisements feature advertising spots for the fictional Starcourt Mall, a third season place playing strongly. Promos are deliberately campy with hair and neon video production stylings from the 1980s that are totally appropriate to the show’s theme.
The Stranger Things is the season’s hottest Netflix show, and the horror/sci-fi retro adventure is being exploited by many other businesses. We’ve seen Microsoft and Coca Cola do it, and it’s no different for Google. The business has an excellent Easter Egg Stranger Things for you, but you’ve got to purchase The New York Times.
For this Google trick, you’ll need a real newspaper as it includes some nice Augmented Reality (AR) trickery through Google Lens. What’s interesting is that at the bottom of the ads there’s a Lens logo with an invitation to “unlock something weird.” That’s where your phone comes in because you’re going to have to bring Google Lens on your Android or iPhone and point the camera to the newspaper. The app recognizes the ad and launches for it an AR experience. This involves unique advertisements for each of the three advertisements printed by Stranger Things.
It was a novel way to identify everyday objects with your camera when Google introduced Lens in 2017. By 2018, the AI had learned to recognize more than one billion popular and unusual items ranging from dog breeds to brands of the vacuum cleaner. Giving meal information and recommendations on restaurant menus in real-time has been shown at this year’s Google I / O.
For this technology, creating interactive virtual ads is a natural evolution. While it’s not very useful because you need to pick up your phone and point it to the ad room, it will definitely play a part when smart glasses or smart lenses become something.