Just like the magical wardrobe in Narnia connecting Earth to the world of Turkish delights and talking beavers, augmented reality can be said to bridge the gap between digital and reality.
Though augmented reality (AR) have existed for some time now, they’ve dramatically risen in prominence over the past year. More and more savvy brands are adopting AR tech to reach new audiences, build immersive experiences, and significantly increase sales.
So, how can marketers capitalize on an emerging trend like AR that allows brands to give unique customer experiences?
We’ve put together some great examples of AR marketing in the past years and notable adopters of this tech in 2020 to inspire you to harness this tech to elevate your customers’ experience in the years to come. Read on to find out what they are.
1. Bon V!V
Popular liquor brand Bon V!V’s out-of-home AR advertising campaign is a great example to begin with.
The brand partnered with Aircards, a web-based AR service provider, to launch their Spiked Seltzer in the west coast of America. Graphic murals with QR scans were placed along the roads of Los Angeles and San Diego that allowed passers-by to scan the QR code and watch a full 3D vending machine with interactive animations come to life. The animation also allowed people to select and dispense their favorite flavor can of BON V!V Spiked Seltzer, just like how a real vending machine would do.
Additionally, users were also given the option to either find a nearby store that sold BON V!V Spiked Seltzer or purchase online and receive delivery within a few hours.
But the best part about this campaign is that it didn’t require any app downloads as it is a web-based AR campaign that solely rides on viewing the augmented reality experience.
2. Hewlett Packard
Another fine example of web AR is a direct email campaign from Hewlett Packard Enterprise. To promote the launch of a new product, HPE sent beautifully designed postcard-like flyers with QR codes to their existing customers.
Once scanned, users were presented with the option of choosing a location that they would ideally like to relax at, either a woodland scene, a mountain range, or a beautiful beach surrounded by palm trees.
Upon choosing a relaxation spot, the postcard then teleports the user to the location of their choice, ending with a message “downtime for you, not your data”.
Watch the video below to get the full HPE AR experience.
By delivering a fun experience to get their customers to take part in a particular action, in this case, to visit the company website, HPE did a great job in not just promoting their new product, but also increasing website click-throughs.
Speaking of teleporting, popular chocolate brand Kinder took AR in retail to a whole other level.
Kinder’s “Jump into Africa” campaign was a visual AR treat to the consumers that stopped to scan the QR code on the Kinder eggs placed in Tesco supermarkets in the UK.
The 3D augmented reality portal took consumers into the African savannah right in the middle of a supermarket alley to explore the African Savanna and discover animated 3D safari animals alongside fun infographics.
Remember that rush of serotonin entering your body as you admire your arm covered in glittery makeup swatches?
Been a while, hasn’t it?
While nothing beats the joy of trying on makeup in-store, virtual makeup try-on apps are your next best alternative, especially in 2020. To see what a certain lips shade or an eyeshadow would like on you.
Sephora’s virtual artist tool is a great example of AR in beauty. Using facial recognition, Sephora allows you to try on hundreds of makeup products instantly. The app scans your face, detects your facial features for product placement, and lets you try on products to see what they’d look like on you.
Playing with Sephora Virtual Artist. It’s so lit as! ✨✨✨ pic.twitter.com/WZV3kF7diU
— Sha (@shafawatimkthr_) July 29, 2017
Going to malls and trying on clothes that have been touched and used before is so February 2020.
That’s why we need more virtual fitting rooms like the one Timberland introduced…back in 2014 👊.
Timberland used augmented reality and kinetic sensing technology to create a virtual fitting room for shoppers to try on the brand’s latest collection. By doing so, the retail brand managed to eliminate the hassle of carrying a pile of clothes and physically trying them on in a dressing room.
Launching this back in 2014, this might have just been a one-off idea that made the retail experience a whole lot convenient and efficient using AR tech. But after what just went down in 2020, virtual fitting rooms using AR technology can be a game-changer for the retail industry in the years to come.
6. Home Depot
Finding pretty things online to add to your house is the easiest part of decorating your house. Consumers today are spoiled for choices. But the real struggle comes only when you’re trying to visualize what the product will look like after being installed.
Will that coffee table be too big for the living room? Will it go well with the red couch? Wait, does the red couch even go well with the blue walls in the first place?
That is why you need Home Depot’s AR assistance to visualize how exactly a product you wish to purchase will fit into your living space.
In 2017, Home Depot introduced AR tech in its mobile app to help consumers with patio furniture, vanities, doors, and faucets, among other things. Using your mobile camera and the app’s AR tech, you can virtually place the item in your house, resize and rotate the image to see how well it fits, and share it with your friends via Twitter, Facebook, or email.
7. Social AR filters
On social media, AR filters are hugely popular and can work to drive engagement and brand awareness across multiple platforms. With the expansion of Facebook’s Spark AR Studio, users and brands can now create free, customized AR filters for Instagram Stories, Messenger, Facebook Stories, and Portal.
This innovation has had a huge impact, essentially birthing a new social media marketing tactic: Instagram AR Filter campaigns. Users spend an average of 75 seconds interacting with AR content, which is a stellar engagement rate in the digital realm.
Here are some sleek examples of Instagram AR filters from popular brands:
What kind of Asos shopper are you? There’s only one way to find out!
For those days when you can’t decide on what beverage to get from Starbucks, this filter should come in handy.
One should always know what cookie they are.
Holiday makeover looks, anyone?
Who’s watching? 👀
The fun part of any AR campaign is the experience you get from watching things come to life. But behind every filter and moving element AR does the hard job of blurring the lines between digital and reality.
Companies also need to be extremely mindful of security and user privacy when implementing AR technology. Augmented Reality works by ‘seeing’ the user and their surroundings — and it needs to collect a lot of data to function properly.
Therefore, AR can gather information about who the user is and what they’re doing (similarly, and more intensely than social networks). AR is subject to the same scrutiny regarding data privacy that’s been aimed at social media platforms in the past few years.
So, there are quite a few things that brands need to consider before implementing AR in their marketing strategies. Nevertheless, it’s still clear that AR tech will continue to become more widespread and impactful in the future.
AR also happens to be one of our 2021 Digital Marketing Trends!
Our 2021 Digital Marketing Trends eBook lays down the top 10 influential trends of the upcoming year to help you discover which trends your team should gear up for in 2021.
In this eBook, you will get an in-depth look into how:
- Authentic brand activism is a potent business catalyst.
- Immersive AR experiences drive sales for tech-savvy brands.
- Ephemeral content is here to stay.
You can find the remaining trends here.