Marketing and print campaigns, as we know them, have become more active experiences for consumers. Being a marketer in the information age means that you need to be prepared to offer customers an “experience,” and focus less on static and non-interactive (passive!) old-school methods.
The use of augmented and virtual reality is growing by leaps and bounds – predicted to be a trillion-dollar market – with expected revenues of $692 billion by 2025 according to Citi GPS.
Savvy marketers who provide consumers with an opportunity to augment their surroundings with a tailored experience that enhances their lives can expect to make a big impact and build loyalty. Done right, you can play a valuable role in your customers’ lives by helping them access information to products and services they need at the right time and the right place.
Retailer Ikea did this very well when it introduced the Place app last year, allowing customers to see exactly how furniture items would look and fit into their homes. That’s a pretty awesome way to provide value and convert sales.
I mentioned three cool ways to use AR in my June post, but I wanted to provide a deeper look into how customers can use AR combined with print.
AR elements can be added to your printed pieces, providing a cool new way to interact with postcards, business cards, catalogs, billboards, magazine advertising and more. Adding this element of interest means that the recipient may hang onto it longer and possibly even show it off.
AR in magazines:
The New Yorker Magazine provided readers with some fun by making their front and back covers come to life through the use of smartphone and tablet cameras. Readers were able to immerse themselves into the image, existing in the art itself, engaging them in a new way.
Print ads within the magazine can also be highly effective when they are combined with AR-powered apps. The creative possibilities of AR in magazine ads are truly unlimited and you can expect to see much more of that as the technology becomes more affordable. There is proof that AR significantly increases interaction. You should definitely consider this technology as you plan how to spend your marketing dollars next year.
AR through billboards and signs:
If budgets allow, go big! Volkswagen incorporated AR into their print marketing in a huge way. Billboards in Canada were used to tease the launch of the new Beetle by encouraging passers-by to download the app. Once that was complete, pointing the phone at the sign allowed them to see the new Beetle burst out of the billboard through their screen showing off the new car.
Bus shelters or train platforms are also popular places for advertising. Why not offer something fun to do while commuters are awaiting a ride. This tactic can turn a common poster or vehicle wrap into an unforgettable and entertaining experience.
Although this example is purely digital, it is too good not to be shared because it shows the power of AR. Pepsi Max used AR advertising at a bus shelter in London to shock and delight commuters. Unsuspecting victims who thought they were looking through regular glass (with a Pepsi Max logo) were surprised when they saw tigers coming toward them, alien ships in the sky, and octopus legs popping out of manholes. As you can imagine, consumer engagement was extremely high. That’s an unforgettable experience!
These examples show us that AR technology is on track to become even more seamless in the near future to combine our virtual and physical worlds. Marketers need to ensure they are prepared to take advantage of what AR can do, excite customers and propel their brands.
Photo by Patrick Schneider on Unsplash