It's beginning to look a lot like...
Kid’s eyes are shining, wrapping paper rustles and from the kitchen rises the delicious smell of fresh cookies. We all know what that means: Time has flown by, and the so-called most wonderful time of the year has begun once again. Ladies and Gentlemen, get your mulled wine ready - it’s Christmas season!
And that means that the holly jolly season of Christmas cards is also about to begin. Paper cards, E-cards, AR Cards - every year millions of cards are being sent to loved ones, friends, and family. But Christmas cards are not for private uses only. Many companies, from small local businesses to international enterprises have embraced the trend and send Business Christmas cards to customers and employees as a way to show appreciation, increase brand awareness and reinforce social networks.
So, what’s the best way to go? Paper, E-Mail or Augmented Reality?
Aren’t classic Christmas cards a bit old-fashioned?
We think they are. If we trace back the origins of Christmas cards, we end up about 200 years ago in England, in 1842. But even in times when plans are being made to colonize Mars and introduce automated driving, paper cards are still popular today. Yet they simply no longer do justice to the fast-paced and digitized world in which we live.
Especially when we consider the environmental aspects of printing and mailing, as well as the huge number of cards a single company has to send out to greet all its employees and customers. The unloved truth? Cards are a waste of paper, resources, cost, not to mention a huge logistical effort.
Funny Santas and quirky Elves on screens
But Christmas cards are no longer tied to paper. With the growing prevalence of the Internet, e-mailing has become a normal means of communication. And so have electronic postcards sent via mail, even though they're not nearly as personal as ordinary paper cards.
E-greeting cards are time-saving, easy to set up and quick to prepare, but there is always the risk that they will end up as spam. Moreover, the possibilities for customization are limited, as most cards are just a combination of pre-set elements or templates.
And let's be honest, do we really want our mailbox cluttered with funny Santas and quirky elves bouncing across our screen? E-cards seem to be a thing of the 00s, just like the Grinch.
As times change, so do markets. That's why AR cards seem to be the alternative the card industry has been waiting for. By scanning a simple QR code, the Christmas cards of 2021 can be experienced anywhere and online without an app. They are not bound to locations, nor will they end up in spam. But they are the most interactive cards of them all.
As soon as the recipient scans the code, the Augmented Reality card unleashes its innovative X-mas spirit, projecting virtual multimedia content such as special themes, voice recordings or mini-games into the given environment. Easy said, the virtual card comes to life and amazes with customized contents.
'We don't want Santa in our mailbox, we want him in our living room.'
No more standardized Christmas greetings, no more wasted paper
Handwritten cards remain the most personal way to communicate, no doubt about it. But AR cards come very close because they are eminently customizable: The motif can be anything: an AR avatar in the shape of yourself, a brand mascot, or the classic Santa cookie snacking in front of the Christmas tree. The same goes for the message, because AR cards can contain written or spoken messages. Imagine opening a card, seeing someone you know as a virtual avatar, and hearing their voice wishing you a merry Christmas. Handwritten doesn't always seem to win, does it?
However, we have to ask ourselves the big question: Are AR Christmas cards the future? Will they one day replace paper cards? We don't know, but we believe in their potential. And we think they set the bar pretty damn high.
For businesses in particular, AR Christmas cards are the answer in many ways. That's probably why AR companies and AR advertising companies are being consulted more and more regarding AR Cards. They can be shared on social media, uploaded to websites, and for those who can't part with traditional cards, printed or mailed. They reach people regardless of their location or language. They round up marketing campaigns, and more importantly, they show how much you value your customers and employees.
So, let's be a little more 2021 and create Christmas cards that no one will forget.
Learn more about AR Cards here
Did you know?
Some interesting Facts about Christmas Cards:
- About 75% of consumers who send holiday cards say they do so because they know how good it feels when they receive a holiday greeting.
- Christmas cards are highly popular among businesses as a way of making contacts and building customer loyalty. A study by LAB & Company shows that around 75% of over 500 German business owners surveyed send business Christmas cards. 86% said they were very happy to receive Christmas greetings.
- Christmas cards are the second most popular cards sold. Only Birthday cards manage to top that.
- The United Kingdom, its country of origin, sends out the most Christmas cards in the world. Estimates by the Royal Mail put the figure at around 750 million individual cards per year.
- Meanwhile in the U.S., Americans spend around $2 billion on Christmas cards. By comparison, Valentine's Day brings in an astonishing $1 billion.