Augmented Reality: Just a Trend or Here to Stay? by Nicole Valentin
Augmented Reality (AR) allows smartphone users to point their phones at certain objects such print ads, outdoor posters and even coffee cups to trigger a 3D video. AR “augments” the consumers surroundings with digital imagery and information. The goal of utilizing AR in a marketing campaign is to create an interactive experience, engaging the customers through a rich and rewarding experience. It gives brands the opportunity to unexpectedly integrate their product from the digital world into the real world. This technique is especially appealing to younger tech-lovers who are skeptical of traditional advertising methods.
Research shows by touching or interacting with a product for a few seconds an attachment is created that often leads to buying. The use of AR as a marketing tool is becoming increasingly popular with large brands from Nestle to Starbucks. Volkswagen uses AR to give customers a unique virtual presentation of their cars, Dominos Pizza has used AR to encourage passersby to use their phones to see a special deal on billboards and then the consumer could order a pizza right from their mobile phone. Augmented Reality can be used to introduce a new brand or as a strategy to retain existing customers. Nivea used AR to provide their customers with exclusive content. When holding up a tin of Nivea creme to a web cam, their customers were able to see a exclusive performance by Rihanna. Starbucks created a Valentine’s AR campaign by encouraging customers to point their smartphones at their coffee cups to see a Valentine’s themed animation and to send a message to their loved ones. AR is far from reaching its potential, but based on future predictions, I’d say AR is not just a marketing Fad, but has longevity as more brands familiarize themselves with the technology and its possibilities. ABI Research estimates the market for AR in the U.S. will reach $350 Million in 2014. That’s up from $6 Million in 2008 when AR just entered the marketing scene. When you mail out a postcard to clients or even pass out flyers, throwing in Augmented Reality to make the print content interactive on a smartphone is now within reach for small businesses. That is just one of the few cutting edge marketing tools we can help you with!