In cooperation with American Express, Justin Timberlake recently released the augmented reality app "Outside In". With it, music fans with an American Express card can immerse themselves in the virtual world of the album "Man of the woods".
The app is true to its name. On the smartphone, Justin Timberlake appears in the user's environment as if he were in the same room. With the pop singer, further elements are faded in, like conifers, which visualize the mood of the album. Justin then gives his fans very personal insights into the creation of individual songs and takes them on a virtual journey through the picturesque mountain landscapes of Montana, which served as inspiration for the new record. With "Man of the woods", he's looking for his southern roots and shows a new side of himself as a down-to-earth country boy.
Compared to Virtual Reality (VR) and Mixed Reality (MR), Augmented Reality (AR) offers only a partly immersive experience. The pop star can only be seen on the smartphone display and not, for example, as a hologram in the room. Nevertheless, the combination of AR and music album works surprisingly well and gives fans the feeling of being closer to their idol than if they would see him from a distance on a concert stage.
With "Outside In", however, the world star and the American Express Company have not only succeeded in creating a marketing coup because the medium AR has created a new form of fan and music experience. The app also includes an interactive shopping portal that gives users access to the merchandising collections of "Man of the woods". As the collections are updated weekly, shopping fans will not get bored.
Justin Timberlake has recognized the advantages of the new technology as a marketing and sales tool: "The first-of-its-kind, mixed reality experience uses cutting-edge technology to bring me directly to my fans; walk them through the concept of my new album and provide access to purchase specially designed merch [...]". It would come as no surprise that others will soon follow his examples.