Solucan uses AR technology on collaborative ‘things will get better’ campaign

Canada’s direct-to-can digital printer Solucan has teamed up with three customers to launch an augmented reality (AR) project designed to lift people’s spirits during the coronavirus pandemic.

The project makes use of AR technology from Zappar, which builds upon the ‘ça va bien aller’ (things will get better) slogan and rainbow campaign that has become popular in French-speaking Quebec, where Soluncan is located, since the pandemic hit. The AR experience is activated by using a quick response (QR) code printed on the side of cans.

Last year, Solucan – which serves the beverage sector in North America – became the first company to install the Cyclone direct-to-can digital printing system from UK-based Tonejet at the company’s Trois-Rivières site. Cyclone makes use of an electrostatic drop-on-demand print head that is said to produce cost-effective, high-quality images at high speeds on almost any type of substrate.

The customers partnering with Solucan on the slogan and rainbow campaign include two craft brewers, Ô Quai des Brasseurs and Le Temps d’une Pinte, and a maker of kombucha called Kombuchanv.

When QR codes are scanned by an enabled mobile device, users are taken to an interactive experience, thanks to the Zappar technology, which is web rather than app-based. Zappar has its headquarters in London and satellite offices in Boston and San Francisco in the US, and Sydney in Australia.

“When you scan the QR code you’re taken to the Zappar web portal,” Solucan president Sebastien Baril told Packaging World. “There you have the AR experience of having your face surrounded by virtual objects.

“First, it’s clouds and stormy weather, but then the stormy weather gives way to puffy white clouds and a rainbow over your head. It took about a day to get everybody on board with the idea, and then it was just a matter of printing the cans. Without digital printing we could never have pulled it off.”

To see the slogan and rainbow campaign in action, click here.