Augmented Reality (AR) is a cutting-edge technology that superimposes digital information, such as images, videos, and 3D models, onto the real world, creating a blended experience where virtual elements appear to coexist with our physical surroundings. Today, AR has found applications in numerous areas, such as Snapchat Lenses, Instagram filters , Pokémon GO, and IKEA Place, an app that allows users to virtually place furniture in their homes.
In contrast, Virtual Reality (VR) offers a fully immersive experience that transports users into a simulated environment. Unlike AR, VR necessitates the use of specialized headsets like the Oculus Rift or HTC Vive to create an entirely digital world.
The advertising and marketing industries are prime candidates for the integration of AR technology. This article will delve into the latest advancements in AR, its future prospects, and its potential for enhancing advertising and marketing campaigns, with an emphasis on WebAR and its ability to enrich print surfaces.
The Future of AR
AR technology has witnessed rapid advancements in recent years. One notable development is WebAR, which enables users to access AR experiences directly through their web browsers without having to download a separate app. This means that anyone with a smartphone, tablet, or computer can now easily view and consume AR content with no extra steps of downloading apps – webAR experiences can be launched by simply scanning a QR code or opening a link
Social platforms have also made significant strides in AR capabilities, providing new ways for brands to engage with their audiences. Additionally, spatial anchoring of AR content and visual positioning systems (VPS) have enabled more accurate and reliable placement of digital content within the physical world.
Some potential uses for AR include:
- Retail: Virtual try-ons for clothes, shoes, and accessories, or virtual product demonstrations in stores.
- Tourism: AR-guided tours with digital information overlaid on historical sites and attractions.
- Education: Interactive learning experiences and simulations in classrooms.
- Healthcare: Remote consultations with medical professionals and AR-assisted surgeries.
AR can have a profound impact on consumer behavior by providing unique, engaging, and personalized experiences. By creating immersive brand experiences, AR can enhance the customer journey and help drive customer loyalty.
Implications for Advertising and Marketing
Incorporating AR into advertising and marketing strategies offers numerous benefits:
- Dynamic Content: AR allows for dynamic content that can change over time, making it ideal for seasonal campaigns or keeping content fresh on product packaging.
- Increased Engagement: AR experiences can capture consumers’ attention and foster deeper connections with brands.
- Higher Conversion Rates: By providing personalized, interactive experiences, AR can help increase conversion rates and drive sales.
Some successful AR advertising campaigns include Pepsi Max’s “Unbelievable” bus shelter and IKEA’s aforementioned IKEA Place app, which have both garnered significant consumer engagement. Pepsi Max’s campaign transformed a bus shelter into an AR experience where users could witness extraordinary events happening on the streets, such as alien invasions and tigers walking by. This campaign generated immense buzz and contributed to a 36% increase in sales.
WebAR and Print Surfaces
WebAR is a form of AR that allows users to access AR experiences through their web browsers, eliminating the need for separate apps. By scanning a QR code, users can launch AR experiences directly in their mobile browsers.
WebAR can enhance print surfaces by adding interactive, digital elements to traditional print media, such as posters, billboards, and product packaging. For example, scanning a QR code on a movie poster could launch an interactive trailer, link to buying movie tickets, or provide exclusive behind-the-scenes content.
An example of a successful WebAR campaigns using print surfaces:
By scanning the label on the bottle, users can access an interactive AR experience where the infamous convicts depicted on the label come to life and share their stories. This unique campaign boosted consumer engagement and increased sales, with a reported 60% increase in volume growth within a year.
The benefits of using WebAR for print campaigns include:
- Enhanced User Experience: WebAR adds an interactive layer to traditional print materials, encouraging user engagement and extending the reach of advertising campaigns.
- Accessibility: WebAR experiences can be accessed by anyone with a compatible device, without the need to download additional apps. A simple QR or shortlink will launch the AR experience!
However, there are potential limitations to WebAR for print campaigns:
- Optimization: Content must be optimized to load quickly and run smoothly even on older devices, to ensure a seamless user experience.
- Technical Challenges: WebAR is still an evolving technology, and developers may face challenges in creating seamless, high-quality experiences across various devices and platforms.
Case Studies of AR in Advertising and Marketing
The New York Times (NYT) has launched a new storytelling initiative using augmented reality (AR) to create immersive experiences and produce a deeper level of understanding for its readers. The initiative is a collaboration with Facebook, which owns Instagram, and uses Spark AR, a developer platform owned by Facebook, to create augmented reality filters and camera effects.
The challenge for The NYT was to create an interactive and engaging storytelling experience for readers that would provide a deeper level of understanding of the news and issues covered by the newspaper.
The NYT created an AR Lab, composed of around a dozen reporters, editors, developers, project managers, 3-D artists, and designers, to produce content that is accessible not only to The NYT’s 18 million Instagram followers (as of May 2023) but also to anyone who uses the social media platform. The AR Lab works closely with desks across the newsroom, from Climate to Cooking to Games, to find opportunities to incorporate the technology in methods that feel complementary and purposeful. The project uses Spark AR, a developer platform owned by Facebook, which gives creators access to a suite of tools and software needed to create augmented reality filters and camera effects and then distribute them on Instagram and Facebook.
The NYT’s AR initiative has been successful in providing readers with an immersive and engaging storytelling experience that provides a deeper level of understanding of the news and issues covered by the newspaper. The initiative has also enabled the newspaper to reach a new and younger audience, as the content is accessible through social media platforms. The use of AR has allowed the NYT to create interactive and engaging content that enhances the narrative experience.
The use of AR technology by The NYT has enabled the newspaper to create an innovative storytelling experience that enhances the narrative experience for readers. The use of Spark AR has allowed the newspaper to reach a new and younger audience, as the content is accessible through social media platforms. The AR Lab’s collaboration with desks across the newsroom has enabled the newspaper to incorporate AR in a complementary and purposeful manner, providing readers with an immersive and engaging experience that deepens their understanding of the news and issues covered by the newspaper. The NYT’s use of AR technology is a prime example of how AR can be used to create an interactive and engaging storytelling experience for readers.
LEGO, the well-known toy brand, launched a new web-based augmented reality (AR) experience to promote its new LEGO Technic Ferrari Daytona SP3 set. The experience was created by UK creative agency Hoopla Digital and built using 8th Wall’s WebAR technology platform, which Niantic acquired earlier this year. This case study highlights how the use of AR can create interactive and engaging campaigns for brands and businesses.
The primary challenge for LEGO was to showcase the intricate details and features of the LEGO Ferrari set and to allow users and supercar fans to witness the Ferrari Daytona SP3’s design and aerodynamics in augmented reality before purchasing the LEGO Technic set.
To achieve this, UK creative agency Hoopla Digital created a web-based AR experience using 8th Wall’s WebAR technology platform. Users were asked to scan the floor or a flat surface in their surrounding environment with a smartphone device and tap on the LEGO box once it appeared in their world space. This demonstrated the virtual unboxing experience for customers, and the LEGO pieces then flew out of the box and came together in a whirlwind animation to reveal the product fully assembled.
Users were then able to tap on the interactive hotspots to get an up-close look at the butterfly doors, detachable roof, and V12 engine with moving pistons. They could also zoom in and rotate the car, take photos to share with their friends, and find a retailer to purchase their own set.
The use of AR helped LEGO create an interactive and engaging campaign that allowed users to experience the LEGO Technic Ferrari Daytona SP3 set in augmented reality. This, in turn, helped to increase brand awareness and drive sales for the new product. The use of 8th Wall’s WebAR technology platform also ensured that the experience was accessible to a wide range of users, as it could be accessed through a web browser on their smartphone devices.
The use of AR technology can help brands and businesses create interactive and engaging campaigns that allow customers to experience their products in a new and exciting way. By partnering with a creative agency and utilizing a WebAR technology platform like 8th Wall, businesses can create AR experiences that are accessible to a wide range of users and can drive sales for their products. LEGO’s use of AR to promote the LEGO Technic Ferrari Daytona SP3 set is a prime example of how AR can be used to create a successful marketing campaign.
These case studies demonstrate the successful integration of AR and WebAR in various industries, showing the positive impact on consumer behavior and engagement.
Best Practices for Implementing AR in Advertising and Marketing
For businesses looking to harness the power of AR in their advertising and marketing campaigns, there are several best practices to follow:
- Start with a clear objective: Define the goals of your AR campaign, whether it’s increasing brand awareness, boosting customer engagement, or driving sales. By setting specific objectives, you can better measure the success of your campaign and make adjustments as needed.
- Keep the user experience in mind: AR experiences should be intuitive, easy to navigate, and enjoyable for users. Test your AR experiences on various devices and browsers to ensure smooth performance, and consider any potential barriers to accessibility.
- Tell a compelling story: Successful AR campaigns often tell engaging stories that resonate with the target audience. Incorporate your brand’s message and values into the AR experience to create a memorable and meaningful connection with consumers.
- Track and measure performance: Utilize analytics tools to measure the performance of your AR campaign. Analyze user engagement, conversion rates, and other key metrics to determine the effectiveness of your campaign and identify areas for improvement.
- Stay up-to-date with the latest AR technology: As AR technology continues to evolve, businesses should stay informed about new developments and trends to remain competitive in the advertising and marketing landscape.
In conclusion, AR and WebAR hold immense potential for the future of advertising and marketing. By providing dynamic, interactive, and immersive experiences, they can enhance customer engagement, improve conversion rates, and create memorable brand experiences.
However, it’s crucial for marketers to carefully consider potential downsides and ethical implications when incorporating AR into their strategies. By staying up-to-date with the latest advancements in AR technology and continually refining their approach, advertisers and marketers can harness the power of AR to create successful campaigns that resonate with their target audience.
Explore the world of AR and WebAR with flyAR and discover how these innovative technologies can transform your advertising and marketing strategies. Visit our flyAR WebAR page to learn more and get started on your AR journey today.