How can AR support your marketing communication?
Before we answer this question, let’s go through the difference between virtual and augmented reality very quickly.
In short, virtual reality (VR) takes the user into a whole new digital world. A typical example is a simulated walk through a virtual 3D model of a medieval castle. Augmented reality (AR), on the other hand, brings artificial elements to the real world.
AR layers virtual objects on users’ reality – imagine, for example, selfie filters in Messenger or Snapchat. AR and VR technologies enable the design of interactions with the virtual world or virtual elements within the real world.
The most famous digital product based on AR is undoubtedly the mobile game Pokémon Go, which became an immediate worldwide sensation after its launch in 2016. Pokémon Go has shown that the potential of AR for the gaming industry is huge. But can brands and campaigns also benefit from this technology?
The short answer is YES, they definitely can! Otherwise, we wouldn’t put so much work into writing this extensive guide to AR development in marketing.
According to Deloitte, more than 90% of companies with more than $ 100 million use AR and VR technologies in their campaigns. But how can we be sure that not all of these companies are just pumping money into the freshest, most “cool” technologies they currently have available?
Well, we can’t be sure – a large part of their campaigns probably just flushed the funds dedicated to AR development to the toilet by applying this technology only as a new, trendy element. But if AR is applied smartly and thoughtfully, it can greatly boost your campaign’s interactivity, creativity, and absorption.
Your product or message will become more tangible, strengthening the emotional bond between your brand and the target group. To support this, a 2018 study revealed an increase in interaction rate of more than 20% and a 33% increase in click-through rate (CTR) when AR was part of a communication campaign.
What types of AR experiences should you consider?
The decision to use AR in your campaign will allow you to make the most of your team’s creativity. The chance to create new virtual elements and bring them into the real world opens up an endless number of possibilities.
However, it would be best to categorize your team’s ideas for interactive AR experiences into three main categories. It will come in handy when you plan the AR development itself.
Let’s start with the so-called world effects. This type of AR is that virtual objects become part of the real world and usually interact with our real environment somehow. Effects of the planet are a perfect option if you want to bring certain imaginary objects or creatures to life.
Our AR references will find two great examples of the world effects – our AR mobile game for Kofola and AR development for Universal Pictures. We will discuss both projects later in the case studies section.
For Kofola, we have developed a game that encourages users to catch virtual Money Eaters. They will start flying around your foam after scanning the Kofola logo on a glass in the pub. Universal’s project was to revive a popular dancing and cracking hand after pointing the phone at the DVD cover of a new film by the Addams family.
World effects are divided into so-called marker and surface effects. The first type consists of attaching a virtual object to a certain point in a real 3D environment. In the video below, you can see the effect pinned to the wine bottle label.
On the other hand, surface effects consist of moving a virtual object or creature over a surface, such as a table or a floor. In the next video, we will show an Australian toy store’s campaign, which activated young visitors as part of the so-called Easter Egg Hunt, a kind of treasure hunt. By scanning game stickers on the store floor, children could “summon” and animate virtual animals, which then ran around them on a certain surface.
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