North East Connected

An ‘appy’ Christmas for intu Eldon Square shoppers

Shoppers in Newcastle upon Tyne have given the thumbs up to a new magic tree which is part of a sparkling new scheme of decorations at intu Eldon Square.
A bespoke Christmas tree app provides a digitally augmented reality experience that gives customers the chance to play fun games, add stickers to festive selfies and to immerse themselves in the spirit of Christmas.
Located outside Boots and Clarks, the stunning tree stands 9 metres tall, delivering an exciting and dramatic visual display. Inspired by ‘Chinese Books’ that tell a story in 360 degrees, the tree has four upper level sections showcasing illuminated scenic panels that transform into a moving, scrolling display of colour, light, shadow and movement, inspiring stories from the imaginations of individual onlookers.

At the base of the tree, the trunk detail supplies a trigger mechanism for an interactive app that is proving to be very popular with families. Young visitors are enjoying fun interactive games; trying to catch the mole, tickling the miniature mushrooms and peeking behind the tree’s magic door to see inside Santa’s secret workshop brimming with toys for Christmas.
Families are enjoying the chance to immerse themselves in this new winter wonderland by snapping festive selfies and sharing via Facebook and Twitter for the chance to win a £250 intu Gift Card.
During weekends on the run up to Christmas, excitable elves will be on hand to introduce shoppers to the Magic Tree app as well as surprising visitors with festive treats like chocolate and reindeer food in preparation for Christmas Eve.
Logan Kelly, 10, from Low Fell, enjoyed interacting with the app, saying:
“I got to see Santa early this year, in virtual reality, how cool is that?”
intu Eldon Square’s marketing manager, Tania Vesty, commented:
“We’re thrilled that our brand new scheme of Christmas decorations has been very warmly received by our customers, and our interactive magic tree has brought a lot of joy to visitors of all ages.

“We wanted to create a scheme that had digital connectivity and be more ‘photogenic’ so that shoppers could stop, immerse themselves in the festive feel and share photos across social media.
“We’re very excited about the launch of our Christmas tree app; it’s a state of the art digital augmented reality experience that customers can have lots of fun with. We’ve had over 400 downloads within the first couple of weeks, and it has certainly added to the Christmas buzz here at intu Eldon Square.  Downloading the app couldn’t be easier; simply search for ‘The intu Magic Tree’ in the Apple store or Google store and download it for free.
“The build-up to Christmas is such an important part of the season – festive shopping, meals out with friends, getting excited about the gifts you are planning to give, all the parties and great experiences with loved ones. Now we are all in full ‘Christmassing’ mode and on the countdown to the Big Day itself.”
The magic tree app was developed by Gateshead based digital media agency MAAD Digital. Managing Director Collin Kelly said: 
 “It was great to be part of this multi-team project which combines traditional craftsmanship with Augmented Reality to deliver something truly magical for shoppers this Christmas”   
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