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Augment To Advertise: Augmented Reality And Future Advertising Formats

The “Dive” series from the Sci-Fi series “Black Mirror”, the oversaturated world of the cult short film “Hyperreality”, and even the fantastic Sarik Andreasyan film “Moscow-2017” – all of these, of course, varying degrees of talent work reflect on the theme of the future, in which Brands have firmly grown together with Augmented Reality and have supplanted the usual, boring and colorless world of traditional advertising.

Augmented Reality is one of the most promising emerging technologies in the advertising market, according to forecasts, the industry will reach $ 113 billion by 2024 (according to some data – $ 192 billion by 2022 ), and by 2030, the market for AR and its “friend” VR expects explosive growth to $ 350 billion.

Augmented Reality Development
AR market size in billion U.S. dollars, Y2Y growth Statista.com

Opportunities for interaction with content – including advertising – in the world of “winning” augmented reality are limited by the creators’ imagination: AR not only interacts with the environment, allowing you to create multi-level virtual worlds, but provides instant feedback, which technology lacks at this stage of development VR (it is limited by what is included in the “script”).

And although the cases and collaborations that industry players and large companies demonstrate are not too futuristic, the vast scope and modern pace of technological development make it possible to predict AR penetration in everyday life with sufficient accuracy. First of all – in new advertising formats.

AR advergaming: corporate and branded games in augmented reality

Augmented Reality Development

Mercedes-Benz & Mario Game ( AR Oyunlar ) Collaboration

Brands in the struggle for a new audience come up with more and more interactive ways to reach the generations Y and Z, and game developers and mobile applications help them in this. Cases from Megafon and MTS , Sberbank and Raiffeisen , MVideoand Sunlight have proven their effectiveness: corporate games with simple prize mechanics attract millions of users , and gamification developers for brands like Hezzl earn billions (so far rubles).

The next step is to transfer the user advergaming experience from the mobile environment to augmented reality app development, where AR and Remote AR are able to provide a different level of involvement and interactivity.

The developer of technology Multiuser AR, the company WATTY , offers to use Remote AR to create corporate AR-games and mechanics. Users can interact with the brand in the general AR-world, being, for example, in various fast food restaurants – you can play table tennis or cook a legendary burger together while waiting for an order. The level of immersion allows you to establish an emotional connection with people of the GenZ generation, who in 80% of cases make a consumer choice based on a direct emotional connection with the brand. Brands that make a big bet on Direct-to-Consumer Marketing, note that such mechanics have a positive effect on direct sales and the main metrics of user loyalty.

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Nestle, for example, turned the branded Nesquik breakfast box into an interactive game console: just hold the box with a marker on your smartphone or laptop with a webcam to access the game world, which can be controlled by tilting the box in space, and for a successful game you can get a very real discount on your next purchase.

Shops without goods and consultants

Not the most obvious players in the clothing market, LEGO and Snapchat, are testing AR as part of the pilot of a clothing store without clothes. Visitors will be able to choose online – and even try on – an exclusive line of clothing from LEGO, being as far as possible from the store (although you can test the offline version at several LEGO retail outlets).

Scanning the Snap-code, users get access to a whole AR-clothing store with a virtual consultant. This is a very real attempt by LEGO to test an idea with a limited collection of adult clothes. The company says it wants to test how the interaction between the real and the AR worlds will affect the launch in a new niche. LEGO, known for its flair for new technologies, has a well-deserved reputation for trend-setters: where the company is heading, other large players quickly find themselves.

Converse proposes to try on the legendary classic models of sneakers using a smartphone and an AR-application in the comfort of your own home, and you can share your favorite option in social networks and immediately buy it. A similar application launched by Lacoste as part of the LCST brand. Such applications are useful for online marketplaces, they allow to minimize the percentage of failures and significantly reduce returns.

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Advertising Integration in AR

The famous Swedish furniture manufacturer IKEA became one of the pioneers in AR advertising: the company released an interactive AR-compatible mobile catalog in the “distant” year of 2014, when the format caused a major indulgent smile to major brands.

It was enough for the user to put the IKEA paper catalog on the floor, in the right place, and point the camera at him in the mobile application to see how the element fits into the existing interior, and what color will look more advantageous. This is one of the first successful large-scale advertising experiments with augmented reality, which raised local sales of IKEA by 27% and drew attention to the campaign — and the new technology. advises users to a successful combination of furniture and accessories, and is able to assess the choice of the client.

Traditional retailers find it difficult to keep up with online marketplaces, and augmented reality can help them stay afloat due to the effect of engagement, which is difficult to recreate online. A well-known manufacturer of toys Toys “R” Us in 2018 launched the Easter campaign “Easter egg hunt”, timed to coincide with Easter, in its own stores across the country.

Using smartphones, to hunt for rabbits, which, if you keep up with them, led users to Easter eggs. Scanning the finds, users received discounts on real goods in the store. The format was not just liked by the buyers – the action allowed raising the already high holiday sales by one and a half times.

AR branding and interactive formats

AR is still perceived as a curiosity, and when properly performed it has a high potential for a wow effect. The “teaser” of such integrations makes AR a powerful offline tool for enhancing traditional advertising formats, working with the brand and recognizability.

There is nothing more traditional in advertising than the storefront and shop window. But even they can be positioned with markers for AR-applications that the British boutique Net-A-Porter used for non-standard presentation of the new collection. AR-showcases were installed in offline boutiques in New York, Paris, Berlin, Munich and Sydney. Visitors could use the mobile application to evaluate the new collection in 3D, choose the color and size, find out the price and composition of products. The performance gathered crowds around the design house stores for 1.5 months .

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Another AR pioneer in advertising, Pepsi, organized AR entertainment for everyone from an ordinary bus stop as part of Pepsi Max advertising. A flying UFO and a tiger running to a stop (in an AR-panel integrated into the side wall) really made many passengers experience “maximum sensations” .

AR and advertising of the future: multi-layered AR-worlds

How many more AR-glasses – and the augmented reality itself – will remain exotic? The main problem of projects like Microsoft Hololens, in addition to the high cost, is a cumbersome and not very ergonomic design that refers to an early cyberpunk. Perhaps they will soon be replaced by much more convenient formats: several startups at once, the most famous of which is currently Mojo Vision , are working on creating wearable lenses of augmented reality, others are working on more compact versions of AR-glasses. Anyway, with convenient wearable AR-interfaces, augmented reality will quickly burst into all spheres of human life.

.N. Hyper-reality does not necessarily have to be an obsessive motley version of the banner site from the 90s – users can switch between the “layers” of AR, interacting with augmented reality at the level that is needed at the moment, “sinking” deeper or “emerging” to the surface real world with a minimum of AR add-ins.

Of course, such a multi-layered structure of reality, in which people can interact with content in real time and at a completely different level of engagement, will revolutionize the way we generate, deliver and consume advertising content. Only time will tell whether this world is similar to what Orwell and Huxley warned about.

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