Customers into Snowmen at See’s Candies store in SFO

By Doug Newhouse |

Computer generated Snowmen SFOCustomers are currently being transformed into ‘Snowmen’ in a novel promotion designed to drive traffic into the See’s Candies shop in San Francisco International Airport’s Terminal 3.


The Pacific Gateway company says it is inviting airport travellers to engage with its augmented reality experience where they can see themselves transformed into snow men [and snow women], complete with their very own winter wonderland background.



“Our goal is to amaze customers with a unique experience they can’t find anywhere else,” said Kenneth Howe, Vice President of Brands and Strategic Ventures at Pacific Gateway. “Shopping in stores should be a fun experience that customers look forward to and that’s what we created with the Interactive Snowman Experience.”


The company points to the bottom line where the promotion is effectively keeping customers in store some twenty times longer than usual when they engage with this fun and more importantly sales are said to have risen by 34% year-on-year when this augmented reality experience has been engaged.



A store member demonstrates how the interactive computer tracks his movements and momentarily turns him into an unshaven snowman.



The experience itself is also simple, with customers approaching the big screen to find an image of themselves staring back at them, although they are suddenly immersed in a snow-covered store. The image continues to change as they transform into a snowman, with movement of arms and the body reflected by the image on the screen.


This concludes with a message, which offers to take a picture of the customer in Santa guise to send on to friends and family, or share through social media channels. The short video can be viewed directly here:


A hapy customer takes a selfie of the promo behind her

A happy customer takes a selfie of the promo screen behind her.


For the technically minded, the experience is driven by Microsoft Kinect technology which uses skeletal tracking to understand the body position of the user, while superimposing imagery over the user’s skeleton amidst computer generated images of snow.


“The content on screen is completely customizable,” says Keith Bendes, Director of Business Development at Float Hybrid. “This allows retailers to transport their customers to any world they imagine. If they can dream it, we can build it.”


Pacific Gateway and Float add that they will be expanding the technology to other retail locations and airports across the United States.




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