Augmented Reality (AR) is becoming an increasingly popular topic due to its ability to enhance our real-world experiences. Its adoption is becoming more widespread, seeing the development of Augmented Reality business cards, posters, print ads and so much more. But, before we get into its marketing magic, let’s answer your burning question… what is Augmented Reality?

Essentially, the technology creates an amplified version of our physical reality by overlaying computer-generated images to enrich the viewers perception. The power of AR goes beyond just an exciting experience though, it is an extremely practical tool. Its unwavering ability to engage an audience and retain their focus has been recognised by many different industries all over the world as a revolutionary tool to market their products and services.
The experience is all possible through markers, which are like QR codes, but are much more subtle in appearance, ensuring that they do not tamper with the artwork of your images. These are embedded within 2D marketing material in which users can download the accompanied app to scan the marker and reveal the experience. For example, your marker could be your company logo placed on your business card, which when scanned, can reveal a video about your brand, it’s product or services, or a pitch to potential clients. Alternatively, the experience could transform 2D prints into 3D images to extending and enriching the brand story, creating a deeper connection between the brand and viewer. The opportunities are virtually endless with augmented reality.

Big-name brands like Zara and Nike have recognised and harnessed its power to make highly engaging, innovative and creative campaigns to target a variety of audiences. It has proven to captivate the attention of 21st century consumers through its ability to integrate digital within the real world and deliver an immersive experience like no other.

Why are so many global brands embracing Augmented Reality?

By 2022 AR is projected to reach a staggering $117 billion! So, it’s no surprise that industries are wanting to take advantage of this emerging and fast-growing technology.

But, Augmented Reality experiences must be valuable in order to engage an audience long enough to establish long-term relationships and build brand equity. A fun and cool AR experience might captivate an audience instantly, but it’s success will be short lived. The experience must have a purpose. That doesn’t mean it can’t be fun and cool at the same time, it just needs to create a meaningful interaction that differentiates your brand from competitors.

Take for example Faber-Castell, the vibrant brand integrated AR, along with traditional print and digital means, within their Never Ending Forest campaign which saw the creation of an app to raise awareness of deforestation. The app was used to bring the ‘EcoPencil’ range to life with users shown different animals according to the colour of a pencil – so, it was also fun and cool. The strategy not only differentiated the brand from competitors in terms of creativity, but built brand equity by using AR as an educational tool which propelled it’s environmentally-conscious initiatives to light – alas, it was also purposeful. The campaign generated a stellar response with over 600, 000 app downloads in 90 days, 18 million views and 4.5 million engagements on social media.

Let’s go back to our mention of Zara’s use of AR to enhance the shopping experience. The brand also created their very own AR app, which users downloaded and used to scan AR-activated window displays of Zara stores. The experience showed hologramatic mannequins coming to life, allowing customers to view exactly, from different angles, how an outfit would look without having to step foot in the store or dressing room. The viewer was presented with a call-to-action to browse other items and make direct purchases, ultimately streamlining the shopping experience not only for customers, but retail workers too. The experience also allowed viewers to pose with the hologramatic mannequins and share to social media with just a click of a button, ultimately enhancing the interactive and immersive experience while expanding campaigns reach.

As you can see, AR technology is extremely versatile, making it a powerful tool to market just about any product or service. It’s adaptability means that the technology can be used for a variety of campaign purposes, whether that be to raise awareness or streamline shopping experiences – the possibilities are virtually endless. Platforms, like UnifiedAR, can be used to integrate Augmented Reality within within your marketing campaign and help bring your print media to life, in an easy-to-use and affordable solution. Previously, to integrate an AR experience in traditional media, specialised printing was required that was expensive and impractical. The beauty of UnifiedAR is that you can simply activate your existing print material without having to create new or specialised versions.

If you want to revolutionise the way you engage with your audience and stand out from competition, contact us about integrating Augmented Reality within your marketing campaign.