As we all know, the marketing world moves swiftly. However, it is also precisely because of this that it can be tricky at times to differentiate the ‘here today, gone tomorrow’ trends from those that will have a sustained impact on your brand’s promotional success for years to come.
So, where does augmented reality (AR) sit in all this? Should your brand be conside right now how it can assemble the most captivating and relevant AR experience for its audiences in the New Year? Or is AR destined to remain forever ‘emerging’, rather than ‘emerged’?
We are great proponents of the former approach here at Tribe – although of course, as with any campaign, it is crucial to know what would represent the right moves for your brand at the right moments.
So, let’s take a look at whether 2023 could be the year in which your brand taps into the possibilities of AR to an extent it has never done previously.
Firstly… what really is augmented reality?
Let’s be clear; AR is not the same as virtual reality (VR). AR effectively combines virtual and ‘real-world’ elements, using information – such as text, graphics, audio, and other virtual enhancements – in ‘real time’, integrated with objects in the real world.
It is that ‘real-world’ component that separates AR from VR. Whereas VR simulates the real world in some way, an AR experience integrates with and adds value to a user’s interaction with that real world. As you can probably imagine, this combination presents exciting possibilities for experiential marketing, which is all about creating impactful live experiences for the consumer, using branded elements.
A few reasons why your brand might look to use AR in the 12 months to come
There is no single answer to the question of whether a given brand should make AR a focus for them over the coming months. But below are a few of the factors that might tempt you to explore the possibilities of AR experience for your own brand:
· It can help bolster sales. This is, of course, the principal reason to consider any kind of new marketing. In the case of AR, the technology could be great for overlaying virtual elements on top of a real-world backdrop – handy, for instance, for the customer in determining how given furniture or décor might look like in a room. This, in turn, could help get the customer closer to a buying mindset.
· It can be great for creating viral content. We may have been in the ‘social media age’ for decades, but it is very much because of this that certain older marketing approaches might lack the ‘cut-through’ they once had, against intense competition. The right AR experience can offer a level of novelty and interest that helps turn heads on social media – and inspire ‘likes’ and shares.
· It allows for compelling virtual events to be held. COVID-19 might have largely receded from the news headlines, but significant numbers of people are anxious to continue minimising the risk with regard to their attendance of in-person events. The immersive technologies of both AR and VR allow for partly or fully virtual experiences to be created that could give people an option to ‘attend’ events while enabling what might be little or no ‘real-world’ social contact.
· It is no longer as an expensive an investment as you might think. Does it feel to you at times as if augmented reality has been ‘emerging’ as a technology pretty much forever? You’re not alone in having that feeling – but over the years, the various gadgets and other technological components that make AR experiences possible have become cheaper. So, if you’ve previously dismissed the thought of embracing AR in your marketing because of a perception that it would be ‘too expensive’, you might want to look again, as your perceptions of the cost might be a few years out of date.
As with any other form of marketing, augmented reality isn’t guaranteed to deliver results for your brand, simply because you embraced it – but it could provide a unique power as your organisation seeks to reach new audiences and re-engage existing ones in 2023.
Please don’t hesitate to enquire to our London-based experiential agency for a more detailed discussion of how we could help make that an (augmented) reality.