This year, Diamond Comic Distributors brought Coca-Cola in as a sponsor for Free Comic Book Day 2021. At the time, Diamond told retailers that Coke had a plan to drive additional traffic to comic book shops. However, it transpires that this plan is a Coca-Cola poster for comic book stores with a QR code to create an Augmented Reality take on the Free Comic Book Day titles available. Coca-Cola will not provide any more promotion, not even mentioning Free Comic Book Day or the poster on their social media. The poster is it, and they get an ad in all the Free Comic Book Day titles – those not intended for Mature Readers, of course. Only fans already attending the event will know the poster exists, so nothing is driving additional traffic into stores. Diamond was able to sell FCBD advertising space in comic book stores that the comic shops in question paid to receive. No wonder some comic book stores are a little narked at the whole thing. But what is even worse is that reports we are receiving from comic book stores that have opened for Free Comic Book Day and have displayed the poster in question is that, for some people, the QR code is not actually working.
Instead, it sends readers to the Comic Store Locator service. Given that it is being read by people standing inside a comic shop, it isn't that useful. For those having difficulty, here is the website it should redirect to. Using that website, you can then scan further the poster in-store – or above – to trigger the AR.
The poster splits open in AR to reveal a series of comic book-inspired AR scenes by Taurin Clarke that are a little generic and not that inspiring.
There's also a spinning wheel for prizes that, from all accounts, send jpegs of some of the artwork to your e-mail address.
It is possible that someone will win a bottle of Coke. But no reports yet.
Valiant Entertainment has done their own VR for Ninjak using the Adobe Aero AR app – click here and then look at the poster below.