Early this week we attended the annual PKN Live event in Sydney to hear from industry experts about new frontiers in packaging print. Packaging is fast becoming a valuable vehicle to link print and digital media.

During an interactive session with Bill Atta from Dreemar, we saw first hand how engaged people are with AR gamification. By scanning an Arnotts Shapes pack with the PKN app delegates were able to play a biscuit-crushing game on their mobile phones and share their scores on social media.

Mela Creative Augmented Reality PKN 01
Image via PKN Live

Although having some fun, many wondered if augmented reality is just a gimmick. However, Bill explained just how powerful AR technology can be in capturing valuable end user data and that it has the potential to become a powerful digital marketing tool when combined with a specific marketing strategy.

The elements of a successful AR integration are:

1. offer an incentive like a competition

2. make the digital content engaging

3. give a reward like a chance to win a cool prize

Brand owners can now collect data directly from the end user of their product that can help drive future marketing decisions whilst increasing consumer engagement with their brand.

Packaging for the future

Throughout the day, other areas of the future of packaging were explored. The digitisation of packaging is extending out to creating personalised, consumer-generated packaging to further engage consumers. We are also seeing an introduction of more sophisticated product scanning methods that will hold individual product information to assist in areas such as proof of provenance, food wastage and counterfeiting prevention.

Mela Creative Augmented Reality PKN 02
Image via PKN Live

Lastly, a day discussing frontiers in packaging could not go by without addressing the importance of sustainability – from brands needing to be authentic and stand for something bigger for a sustainable future through to the need for redesigning Australia’s packaging ecosystem into a circular economy. APCO, the Australian Packaging Covenant Organisation is working with the industry towards achieving the 2025 National Packaging Targets including 70% of plastic packaging to be recycled or composted.

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