June 16th, 2012
From Bryant Ison, Senior Brand Manager, BAND-AID® Brand
Kids are always the toughest critics. My kids have honed this talent. Over the years, they have pointed out every one of my grey hairs, every extra pound I’ve gained and every wrinkle (that they’ve created.) So, even though the new BAND-AID® Brand Magic Vision app – featuring Disney’s The Muppets – represented the brand perfectly and met our business goals I was worried when I gathered them around the iPad to show them the app for the first time.
I pulled out a box of Muppets bandages and started up the app. As they waited for the app to boot, I felt my 4-yr old start to slide off my lap in boredom as if to say “TV doesn’t take this long to load.” However, once the familiar music started up, he jumped back up on my lap, eyes wide.
What happened next was a mixture of mayhem and delight. The kids went absolutely bananas when they saw Kermit singing right in front of them. The youngest spent at least 3 minutes trying to figure out where Kermit the Frog was on the other side of the iPad. My oldest occupied himself with composing creative “family” photos with The Great Gonzo and Miss Piggy. When the dust settled, I felt like I was super dad with my kids asking, “did you really make that?”
Although I took credit for it with my kids, I didn’t technically make the app. It started with a casual conversation at the Disney sales meeting. Over a drink with one of their creative people, I learned about the technology – Augmented Reality – that overlays a unique and fun experience over reality via your smartphone’s camera. It sounded like science fiction, but I saw it as an extension the “magical moment” that happens when moms pull out a deco bandage. There’s nothing like a BAND-AID® Brand decorated bandage to change a traumatic moment into a fun experience. But this cool technology – it existed, I asked. People had actually seen this, right? Thus began an 18-month odyssey to bring the app to life.