Remote control banner ads? Clever innovation in experiential product marketing!

Japanese toy manufacturer Beacon came up with a very creative interactive banner campaign for their toy AR.Drone. While I’m usually reluctant to welcome the possibility of yet another remote control device in the hands of a male member of my household, this is very intriguing from a marketing perspective!


The AR.Drone is a helicopter that allows owners to use their iPhone as the remote control. To simulate the experience, and to help drive sales, they came up with a banner ad containing a QR code. When viewers scan the QR code on their computer with their iPhone, they get a hook up that syncs the computer with the iPhone. The iPhone then becomes a remote control for the toy displayed in the banner, essentially bringing it to life. The helicopter can then be flown around the site, dropping bombs and blasting things. While this feature is more apt to appeal to my son or husband, that is absolutely the point. It presents an intriguing way to engage the target market by making the ad into an actual product experience. In linking the devices, users grant the company access to send them additional information and offers. Beacon claims to have had three times the click through for the campaign compared to standard web banners.

Watch the video to see how it works here:

Beyond toys, I can certainly see broader applications for this. Audience engagement and involvement has always been key to advertising success. This example helps push those limits a little further!

Mary Charleson

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