It is the quirky brand extension that makes augmented reality a popular concept worldwide. Initiated as mediated reality, this concept was used for creating real-time engagement during the time of match in its early days. With time, it has evolved in terms of technology and now the concept plays a great role in defining marketing strategies. However, augmented reality in retail and marketing is still in a very experimental and nascent stage.
In its initial days, many marketers adopted the AR technology to provide 3D view of their products, especially of real estate properties and automobiles. Many brands successfully leveraged this feature of augmented reality. However, the technology is no more restricted to unlocking videos and images and marketers and becoming more experimental in implementing augmented reality into their business strategies.
Internationally, the concept of augmented reality has been embraced enthusiastically by both marketers and consumers. While the retailers can engage customers like never before through augmented reality, shoppers are fascinated by their ability to shop from anywhere with the help of their smarphone or tablet backed by a real-life experience provided by AR technology. In fact, it is the capability of augmented reality to blur the lines between virtual world and real world that makes the concept so well accepted. It allows consumers the best of both world where they can touch, feel or even try (in case of garments and apparels) products, which is common in brick and mortar stores, and at the same time read reviews and compare prices online.
To better understand the scope augmented reality can create for marketers; let’s discuss some real-life usage of augmented reality that helped brands to get their strategy right.
The Volkswagen Up! campaign was designed to promote its new features by using the gutter space in newspapers. The brand allowed the readers to ‘ride’ across the paper with the help of their augmented reality feature. The users were redirected to the augmented reality app through a QR code to enable them to enjoy the Volkswagen Up! experience. The Starbucks campaign is another good example to define the scope of AR technology in terms of marketing. Users could see a romantic animation with the Starbuck’s Cup Magic for Valentine’s Day. The figure on the cup comes to life using AR technology and also allowed users to send gifts to loved ones.
However, while using augmented reality as a part of marketing strategies, marketers must ensure that it is in sync with their product’s theme for striking the right chord.
Marketers need to understand that with the technological development it is important to move forward from static images or simple videos. What they need is cool quotient for attracting the niche. And augmented reality does exactly the same.