Mobile applications, social media marketing, and online games have ensued sheer pandemonium in the marketing segment. AR (Augmented Reality) is one such technology piquing into the market and changing the consumer experiences. Augmented Reality has the ability to overlay virtual content on the physical world and have the two interact in real time.

AR offers scope to engage consumers with campaigns

Augmented reality has transformed how consumer try out or buy products. Companies like Ray-Ban, IKEA, Cover Girl, L’Oréal have already successfully implemented AR. Consumers can now try any cosmetic product, shades or sunglasses on their face and experiment with their looks.

AR can substitute many existing consumer devices. More importantly, it achieves this with higher flexibility. For example, a television set which cost around $1000 now, will cost only $200- $300 with AR HUD. Yet, AR HUD provides better television viewing experience. It also offers functionality which no existing device can provide. Mobile devices can integrate AR without a lot of effort. Marketers can extract significant information and consumers can engage with campaigns, branded collateral, packaging, and product.

AR offers better value to customers as well as the brand by offering more utility. It helps to create new brand experience layers along with experience driven by consumer preferences.

One such campaign was that of Pepsi Max. Pepsi installed AR screens and designed a campaign – ‘Impossible made real’, attempting to indicate that a drink can be made with all the flavors of cola but without sugar. These ‘AR stunts ‘were filmed and the content was distributed via social media. The campaign recorded a sale of £54 million.

Future of AR

The launch of Pokémon GO in July 2016 marked a turning point for AR and mixed reality. The game recorded more than 50 million installations in less than a month. Restaurants like McDonald’s grabbed the opportunity to partner with the game and use it for marketing purposes. It turned 2900 restaurants into a venue to find Pokémon creatures.

AR has low barriers to entry and offers product placement in the real world. Both work in its favor, allowing corporations to piggyback on it for marketing. Moreover, it offers sustainable technology solutions where retailers do not have to reinvent the wheel. They can iterate from current user behavior and deliver the product.

AR devices are likely to face challenges dealing battery life and connectivity issues. Developers and manufacturers will have to optimize future iterations to fully supplement AR growth.