Augmenting Reality for Marketing

Augmented Reality (AR) uses direct or indirect views of real-world environments, which are then augmented with computer-generated images that are superimposed over the top of that view. In many cases this is done through tablets or smartphones, which are equipped with a camera.

The user points their camera out into the world, and can see this view on their device’s screen. Overlaid on top of this view are the computer-generated images. For example, you could view your kitchen through your smartphone, and see Albert Einstein sat at your breakfast table!

Advertising is one area in which AR has made a big impact. Although relatively unheard of a few years ago, AR is now a marketing tool used by organisations large and small. One of the main reasons for this is that the technology demands attention. It’s innovative, new and stands out, all of which helps your product or service gain exposure.

Support for the technology is on the increase too. Facebook have launched a beta ‘AR studio’ with developer tools and the new iOS 11 mobile operating system from Apple includes ‘ARKit’, a feature that enables the user to create AR experiences for the iPad and iPhone.

There are several companies already making great use of AR technology. Here are just a few examples:

IKEA
‘IKEA Place’ is an app launched by the Swedish furniture giant which the company is attempting to alter the way people buy furniture. It allows users to scan a room with their smartphone and see furniture superimposed into the viewframe so that they can assess whether the items would look good in their own homes.

Pepsi
A few years ago, Pepsi set up a bus shelter advertisement with a screen and camera, so that when viewing the screen, it appeared to the viewer as though they were looking through a glass panel at the street behind. Superimposed into this view were things like alien spaceships and tigers! The stunt went viral, and reportedly increased sales by 30 percent.

Pokémon GO
The Pokémon GO craze will have a lasting impact on marketing for many years to come. The app provided the user with a game experience in which they tried to find Pokémon characters in the real world. AR was used to superimpose these characters into the world via users’ smartphone screens. Niantic Labs were able to monetise the game, by allowing local businesses to pay for a character to spawn at their location, thereby attracting users of the app, who would then be more likely to spend money at that location.

Objective Creative is a full service marketing agency in Sheffield who can provide a full range marketing solutions including digital marketing and mobile application design and development. If you are interested in AR marketing for your business, contact Objective Creative by visiting www.objectivecreative.com