Picasso himself might have marveled at an audacious new campaign promoting an exhibition of his work at the Virgina Museum of Fine Arts in Richmond, VA. Augmented reality, QR codes and Facebook come together to promote Picasso; Masterpieces from the Musée National Picasso, Paris, on view from February 19 through May 15.
Developed by The Martin Agency, its centerpiece is a portrait of Picasso made entirely of QR codes. When a phone scans the QR image, it is re-directed to a landing page featuring Picasso's work and an invitation to buy tickets to the exhibition. The portraits will appear in locations such as the corner of Grand and Wooster streets in New York City, where it will be painted on the side of a building.
In Richmond, 33 Starbucks stores will display the Picasso QR code on the storefront, and once inside, works of art will appear on the walls. Another 22 east coast locations (listed on a Facebook page) will carry geo-coordinates activated for detection by Layar phone applications. These will cause augmented reality images from Picasso's collection to appear on surrounding buildings. In Philadelphia, an entire store space will become a virtual exhibit, using augmented reality.