Let’s start with the basics.
What is augmented reality: an enhanced version of reality created by the use of technology to overlay digital information on an image of something being viewed through a device (such as a smartphone camera) – Webster Dictionary
How is it different from Virtual reality?
Virtual reality usually has a headset involved, and immerses you inside an experience, rather than overlaying it, as AR does through an app.
But why should you care?
- An interactive user experience – Allow your product, app, or ad to give a new use or cool buzzworthy interaction – Ex. Solar panel charger below
- An opportunity to show a different side of the brand – Provide the consumer with an opportunity to see the story behind the product they are buying with how each piece was made.
- Personalized experiences – Allow a customer to customize their product (see converse example below)
- Let a consumer try your product before purchasing it – Imagine if you’re a beauty or clothing brand and a consumer can see themselves wearing the product to see if they like it.
This all allows for a deeper connection with a brand.
Here’s the best part – AR allows brands to offer more to their consumers than ever before. It allows an opportunity for the consumers to use a medium they are already comfortable with (a camera or an app) on a greater level on how when and where they want to engage with a brand campaign, product, advertisement or the packaging.
Check out some cool examples below:
Haagan Daaz created an AR campaign where the consumer downloaded an appand then pointed the camera at the lid. “A symphony musician would appear in 3D on the lid and play you a song for about 2 minutes until the ice cream reached the correct temperature for consumption.” The user had a unique interaction while they waited for their favorite new ice cream flavor (with a lot more patience) and more satisfaction.
Nivea gave solar panels in their print advertisements for consumers to charge their phones. Imagine a young millennial reading their favorite magazine at the beach but running out of juice on their phone to snapchat to their friends? Nivea to the rescue.
This is not only useful, but it’s something people will definitely brag about and tell their friends.
Converse used AR to provide a cool experience on their sampler app – giving the consumer the keys to choose their favorite sneaker – point the phone at their feet – and bam, it’s on their foot (through the phone). They can see if it looks awesome, or awkward, or so good they have it buy it right then.
Why should your brand consider AR over VR? It’s an easier way to step into the land of virtual marketing and advertising. It doesn’t mean it’s better, it’s just a way to get your feet wet, without having to develop as much (typically).
And if your brand has the budget, and the marketing team to put the strategy behind it, give it a shot.
image source – http://www.augment.com/blog/3-consumer-giants-who-used-augmented-reality-for-retail/