Postal Service Launches ‘Magical’ Mailbox Holiday Experience

“USPS AR” app transforms iconic blue mail collection boxes using augmented reality

December 01, 2014 @USPS

Postal Service Launches ‘Magical’ Mailbox Holiday Experience
Click here to watch a clip of the experience

WASHINGTON — Capitalizing on advancements in smartphone technology, the U.S. Postal Service has launched a new mobile marketing campaign that has transformed its approximately 156,271 blue mail collection boxes across the country into a holiday mobile experience using augmented reality (AR) technology.

“Whether you’re walking down a busy city street or a main street in a small town, you can find one of our iconic blue boxes all across the country,” said Nagisa Manabe, chief marketing and sales officer for the Postal Service.  “Instead of just dropping off mail, smartphone users can use our USPS AR app to transform these boxes into a unique and interactive experience during the holidays.”

Starting today through the end of the year, smartphone users can experience the magical mailbox, by simply downloading the “USPS AR” app and using it to scan a nearby blue mail collection box.  The innovative use of augmented reality will feature fun activations like flashing holiday lights or dancing animated penguins, followed by prompts to order free shipping boxes or stamps.

The Postal Service has been promoting augmented reality as a way for marketers to add a digital component to direct mail campaigns to generate a greater return on investment. 

“Mobile technology is enhancing physical mail in some pretty remarkable ways,” said Manabe. “Augmented reality, QR codes, and one-click buying technology are changing the way consumers interact with major brands. That’s why the Postal Service has launched a multi-channel advertising campaign this holiday to reach consumers of all ages.”

As the nation counts down to the holidays, the Postal Service will be adding new features every few days so customers will have a different experience when they use the app to scan the blue collection boxes.

To promote this new mobile experience along with key holiday shipping and mailing dates, the Postal Service has sent a direct mail piece to every U.S. household this week.  The direct mail piece includes instructions on how to download and use the “USPS AR” app to experience the magic.

This mailer is one part of a holiday advertising campaign by the Postal Service ranging from direct mail to television and print advertisements, to social media and digital promotion.

“Our holiday marketing effort will be built around the idea that the Postal Service has been planning all year for this season and we are prepared to deliver the holidays for America,” said Manabe. “Our advertising goal is to attract new consumer and business customers and provide assurance for our customers that they can depend on our affordable and reliable service to deliver their mail and packages during this season.”

Download the USPS AR app  at Google Play or iTunes App Store

The Postal Service receives no tax dollars for operating expenses and relies on the sale of postage, products and services to fund its operations.

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