In an ever-evolving landscape, new digital marketing tools are constantly blossoming. Amongst all, we are currently witnessing the surge of Augmented Reality as a resourceful instrument to engage with the audience while creating a unique user experience; and as a result, a seamless way to raise brand awareness.
Saurabh Mathur, Head, Strategy and Planning, India at VML believes that for the uninitiated, the line between Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality may be thin. Indeed, their main distinction relies on the level of immersion. Augmented Reality (AR) creates a digital-computing interface through placing virtual objects (image, video) into the real world and in real time. It transforms the existing static environment into an immersive 3D experience by overlaying new information on top of it. On the other side, Virtual Reality (VR) builds a fully designed artificial environment, enabled through specific devices such as head mounted displays.
While AR enhances real life, VR immerses you into a whole new world.
Brands are either tapping onto existing tools enabled by popular Social Media platforms such as the 360 videos on Facebook, Snapchat 3D world lenses; or creating their branded AR apps, or bringing consumers into their own world. Applications of AR in digital marketing are numerous, making consumers’ interactions with brands quick, easy and interactive.
AR also constitutes a good instrument to display further information for the user/consumer. It allows marketers to give more information in an interactive way making the overlaid information entertaining and educative.
AR constitutes an amazing means for storytelling. By empowering content and giving more depth to immersion, it allows brands to connect deeply with their consumers and tell their story on the best stage.
When applied to Experiential Marketing, AR becomes an even greater tool, making the consumer experience the product first hand. Recent examples of AR used to help consumer projecting themselves with the product are:
- The Ikea “Place” app, where Ikea’s consumers were able to preview furniture in their own house through the app
- The John Lewis 360 shoppable Facebook Ads which has a similar approach to Ikea’s except that it is using Facebook’s own features.
By helping users changing the channel through which they view the world, AR constitutes a beautiful marketing instrument. It enhances digital marketing and gifts brands with many benefits. By offering a unique consumer experience, it further fosters consumers’ engagement with the brand, leaving a non-fading mark on their mind, further increasing brand awareness.
The surge of AR in digital marketing breaks with tradition and has gone from static, monotonous to interactive and entertaining with the users. Currently growing at a tremendous pace, AR can be incorporated in many different marketing means and represents limitless possibilities.