What is Augmented Reality?
Augmented Reality (AR) enables individuals to superimpose a digital rendering into our surroundings through a device. What does that mean exactly? Essentially, AR integrates digital content with the real world environment. AR can be used in nearly any situation involving digital overlays of creative or information, creating an endless potential for its use.
Augmented Reality (AR) vs Virtual Reality (VR)
There’s a common misconception that AR and VR are the same. Virtual reality utilizes hardware (usually in the form of headsets) to fully envelop one’s field of vision, cutting off all connection to the outside world. Conversely, augmented reality takes your existing environment and simply overlays a digital image on top of it through a device, such as a mobile phone. AR gives brands the opportunity to showcase products and services in real-time, so consumers can gain a better understanding before making a purchase.
Why Integrate AR?
There are numerous reasons why brands should explore integrating AR into their marketing and communications efforts, the first of which is building deeper connections with their target audience. When consumers are fully immersed in AR, it establishes an emotional attachment to the product/brand/service, and therefore, increases brand loyalty.
Interactivity with the Brand
Many marketing tactics lack experiential interactivity; digital ads allow the consumer to hear about the brand, social media enables consumers to talk about the brand, but AR is seamlessly integrated into consumers’ lives through their device resulting in a new level of interactivity.
Compared to other digital and traditional marketing tactics such as social media ads or print advertising, consumers are more likely to become immersed in AR. This presents many interesting possibilities to incorporate AR into some of these tactics. If traditional marketing represents a portion of your overall marketing efforts, AR can enhance these campaigns through the use of QR codes; users can scan a QR code found on a bus shelter or in a magazine and access the asset.
Connect with the Millennial Demographic
AR platforms such as Snapchat, that have already established a strong user base are perfect for brands looking to test out AR technology. Although developing stand alone augmented reality apps is costly, using AR on existing social media platforms removes the need for ground-up development by simply focusing on cool creative concepts. With over 100 million daily users, most of which between the ages of 18-40, Snapchat is the ideal platform to connect with the millennial market through the use of engaging AR marketing plays.
Consumer Control & Use
Augmented reality is unique, in that it encourages users to become a part of the advertising by applying the AR creative to the world around them. Snapchat Face Lenses or World Lenses create curiosity amongst users; this curiosity drives users to then interact with AR and hopefully, share it amongst their network. The potential exposure is massive, as these AR products are highly shareable. Brands experience the most exposure when users send Snaps to their friends or post it to their story. This results in a multiplication effect where one person who sees that snap or story will then use it themselves and share it.
Stay Ahead of the Curve
Most brands have now incorporated social media into their marketing mix; however few have made the transition to augmented reality. AR captures and holds consumers attention, as it creates an experience that merges the brand into consumers’ lives, which is not possible through traditional social media marketing.
If you would like to know more about how augmented reality could impact your brand, please email our AR team at firstname.lastname@example.org.