iQiyi placed billboards in tier-one Chinese cities that used facial recognition and augmented reality technologies to attract more audience interaction.
The billboards, promoting iQiyi's variety show, Idol Producer Youth with You, appeared in Beijing, Shanghai, Hangzhou and Chengdu one day before the show's finale this past weekend.
Idol Producer lets viewers vote for their favourite contestants. Scanning the faces of the hopefuls on the billboards via iQiyi's app led people to a private page devoted to that person. The page also included advertising content and iQiyi video clips.
The show attracted big attention; pageviews on Weibo for Idol Producer reached 7.1 million on the day of the final contest over the weekend.
According to iQiyi, most people who scanned and interacted with the AR advertisements were under 25 years old, the exact target audience of the show.
iQiyi used a similar interactive approach in 2017, when it allowed fans to take composite photos with their idols in a bus station installation.