In my global odyssey in search of eye-catching uses of cross media, I recently washed up in AQWA, the Aquarium of Western Australia.
Strolling around the delightful and mesmerising tanks of aquatic life (when not looking for the diving Santa among the tiger sharks) I noticed that the explanatory signage everywhere around the aquarium incorporated QR codes, taking the visitor to web content specific to the displays.
I’m not a prolific museum-goer, so perhaps I’m behind the curve, but this was the first time I’d encountered this intelligent use of QR codes. Most of the museums I have visited in the last few years – even the more creative and interactive among them – still rely heavily on the inherent appeal of the objects on display, with dense text panels to deliver explanatory information, and perhaps an element of ‘touch-and-try’ to keep younger visitors engaged.
The potential of cross media in this environment makes my brain swim. With this application, even the least inspiring physical artefact could be brought to life – literally – catapulting the visitor into an online world where they can explore the object in an animated, digital recreation of its original environment. And, with good links to related content, the visitor could be embarking on an infinite journey of discovery starting with that single click.
For the mobile-addicted younger generation born and bred in a rich media environment, the ability to make a digital connection between a museum display case and some well-designed and interactive online content may just be the difference between ‘lame’ and ‘awesome’. And of course, for the museum, it drives web traffic, with rich potential to extend engagement with visitors and promote social sharing.
That looks like a ‘win-win’. Or should that be ‘fin-fin’?
Tweet us @adcomms with other cool examples of cross media in the museum world.