What Every Marketer Ought To Know About Augmented Reality Advertising
Long gone are the days when AR was all about cute Snapchat filters and Pokémon Go quests around the neighborhood. The coronavirus pandemic and the rollout of 5G networks have driven brands and marketers to test the limits of augmented reality advertising and create immersive campaigns to emotionally connect with target audiences, boost brand awareness and conversion rates.
While AR advertising is relatively new, it builds upon the success this new technology has had in introducing virtual try-on, preview product placement, and augmented user manuals in the fast-changing world of e-commerce.
And even more than that, it offers brands the opportunity to stand out in a highly competitive marketplace, engage tech-savvy Generation Z and Alpha consumers, and go beyond the boring, repetitive ads everyone has had enough of.
Since you’re here reading this, there’s a great chance that you’ve already considered including AR experiences in your advertising strategy (kudos to you), yet you might not be 100% convinced this is the best solution for your business. If that’s the case, we’ve put together a quick overview of the main benefits of AR advertising and our top favorite AR ad campaigns.
Why should you consider AR advertising in 2022 (and beyond)
In a world where most online ads hardly get past ad blockers and outdoor billboards rarely get a second glance, immersive AR advertising campaigns enable brands to reach out to their audience in new creative ways. Continue reading to find out what makes AR ads one-of-a-kind.
Use a unique, eye-catching format
Unlike traditional advertising, the magic of augmented reality ads resides in their ability to blur the lines between reality and virtual worlds. There’s quite a difference between a static Facebook ad you randomly come across in your News Feed and an AR experience that brings the main character of a recently launched movie right into your living room.
As digital transformation continues to disrupt one industry after another and giant tech companies enter the race for the metaverse, augmented reality provides marketing professionals with the chance to take one step into the future.
Create an interactive brand experience
There’s not much that happens when you click regular online ads — they simply take you to a landing page or a product page. AR advertising goes beyond that by enabling consumers to virtually try products before making a purchase, explore a virtual pop-up store from the comfort of their own home, and even interact with the brand's 3D mascot..
Moreover, incorporating AR experiences into your digital marketing strategy can help you achieve high customer satisfaction and a 94% higher conversion rate, according to the Snap Consumer Global AR report.
Build a lasting emotional connection with customers
Compared to regular 2D static ads or video ads you often see across websites and social media, augmented reality advertising campaigns are immersive digital experiences that can turn customers into active participants and allow them to connect with your brand on an emotional level.
For example, AR ads could gamify online shopping or enhance in-person brand events while letting customers interact with 3D virtual models of your products using their mobile devices. And engaging customer experiences make it easier for people to remember your brand the next time they go shopping.
Examples of Augmented Reality advertising
From augmented world experiences to mini-game adventures and portals to new worlds, we’ve put together a few examples of AR ad campaigns that will inspire you to leverage the benefits of this new technology and design more engaging customer interactions.
Adidas AR Brand Activation Campaign
The key behind memorable brand events is allowing customers to have an active role in the experience. And there’s no better way to do that than implementing augmented reality technology into your digital advertising strategy.
As part of their strategy to boost the excitement surrounding the Warsaw launch event for the new Nite Jogger, Adidas collaborated with our team to design an interactive AR brand activation campaign. Using 3D sculptures created by four different artists in VR with Tilt Brush, we developed an AR app that lets customers display and take photos of the artwork at the event venue.
This type of augmented reality experience can effortlessly transform customers into co-creators, thus generating authentic content that organically increases brand awareness among target audiences.
Doritos & PlayStation 5 AR Quest Game
Guided by the fact that games and snacks are a match made in heaven, Doritos capitalized on the release of the PS5 to create a unique mobile-centered marketing campaign that combined geolocation, blockchain, and AR technologies.
The Doritos AR Quest game rolled out across the Netherlands, UK, Ireland, Belgium, Spain, and Australia and required players to find the four iconic PlayStation symbols hidden in virtual Doritos bags in order to win a PS5 console. Using their smartphones, users could access a map of virtual Doritos bags or Vatoms — unique redeemable digital objects secured on the blockchain.
Once they reached the real-life location of a digital Doritos bag, players were able to unlock cool prizes in AR, including free Doritos chips packs, PlayStation games and subscriptions, PS5 controllers, and more. When COVID-19 restrictions came about, the game’s dynamic shifted so that users could safely hunt for those virtual Doritos bags in the proximity of their homes.
Actively promoted by local gaming influencers, the Doritos AR campaign succeeded in driving more awareness within the gaming community and strengthening the brand’s connection with Generation Z fans.
Burger King ‘Burn That Ad’ AR Campaign
Burger King’s 2019 AR campaign is the perfect example that fire is a key ingredient not only when preparing a juicy burger but also for creating a successful digital marketing strategy.
Launched in Brazil to promote the BurgerBurker King Express service on their mobile app, the daring ‘Burn That Ad’ campaign encouraged consumers to virtually set fire to their competitors’ ads. Once the flames died down, the users were rewarded with a coupon for a free Whopper they could redeem at the nearest Burger King restaurant.
For those wondering how they did it, Burger King took advantage of the image recognition feature of marker-based AR to turn their competition’s outdoor ads, social media ads, print ads, and in-store posters into a hot deal (pun intended).
Dr. Jart+ UK Launch AR Portal
Launching a skincare brand in the middle of a pandemic is no less than an intimidating creative challenge, which pushes businesses to rethink everything they’ve done up until then and explore the untapped potential of new technologies. That’s what the South Korean brand, Dr. Jart+, did last year with the AR campaign they’ve created for the UK launch of their iconic Cicapair range.
Dr. Jart+ collaborated with digital artist Rek0de to design an immersive AR portal experience that would enable users to enter the Cicapair world. By simply scanning a QR code on their mobile devices, consumers and influencers were transported to a 360° real-world view of one of the busiest urban spots in the UK, Piccadilly Circus.
While this chaotic environment was initially invaded by skin stressors beautifully illustrated with the help of 3D animations, the scenery instantly transformed into a soothing oasis at the roar of the Cicapair Tiger. The consumers got to see a peaceful Piccadilly Circus, overgrown with Centella Asiatica or Tiger Grass, the key ingredient of the Cicapair range, and showcasing gigantic 3D versions of three of the most popular Cicapair products.
A quick word of advice before launching your AR advertising campaign
Augmented reality can take your advertising campaign to a whole new level, but only if the rest of your strategy coordinates are correct. In other words, you should know who your target audience is, uncover their needs, wants, and expectations, and choose the best digital platform to communicate your message.
If those elements aren’t well defined from the start, not even AR will be able to save the campaign. It will attract attention, that’s for sure — however, it won’t increase sales or conversion rates. And that’s far from ideal, especially after you’ve invested time and resources into building first-rate, visually appealing branded experiences.
At the same time, you should make sure that AR doesn’t overshadow the message of your campaign but rather support it. AR is an engaging and immersive technology that can turn a brand’s wildest ideas to life and it takes little to go overboard when it comes to surprising your audience. That’s why we suggest you start from the message and goals of your campaign and go on from there.
Augmented Reality isn’t going away anytime soon
As more and more AR business use cases are being discovered, it’s safe to say that this new immersive technology has moved on from being just a social media gimmick. In fact, based on the recent findings of the Snap AR Report, almost 75% of the total global population and nearly all smartphone users will be recurrent AR users by 2025.
Plus, the four advertising campaigns presented above are proof that there are numerous ways to create interactive and memorable customer experiences and achieve higher conversion rates with the help of augmented reality. And whichever option you choose to pursue, our team of experts is here to help you turn your vision into reality.
Thinking of building an AR advertising campaign, a virtual brand event, gaming experience, or a 360° tour of an alternate universe? Challenge accepted — contact us today and we’ll see what we can do to help you reach your goals.