Augmented Reality To Transform Advertising Industry?

Working out ways to match up your LED video walls with augmented reality (AR) could well become a top priority for businesses in the near future if they’re to keep one step ahead of the competition.

Writing for Campaign Live, head of global digital media partnerships at Diageo Jerry Daykin explained that unlike virtual reality (which blocks out the real world), AR technology layers information on top of the world as we know it.

And because this kind of tech is literally all around us these days thanks to the advent of the smartphone it’s never been easier for brands to engage with consumers and encourage them to be social and explore.

Mr Daykin went on to say that nowadays people are well used to making choices between different types of hardware, as well as utilising different apps for various tasks – flicking between them at speed and without hesitation. But this could be disrupted by AR, with an overlaying of the world one day to be the norm.

Currently, our smartphones are the best device for this but it’s not unreasonable to think that in the future contact lenses or glasses could be used to “present a more seamless interface”.

“By the end of 2018, none of us will be wearing AR glasses or walking around scanning everything with our phones. But if we’re starting to do it even a little bit, then these best-laid plans will one day be something that transforms marketing. What will that even look like if people don’t need hardware screens and out-of-home ads no longer physically exist?” Mr Daykin went on to note.

There are already lots of examples where AR and out-of-home advertising have gone hand in hand. In March 2014, for instance, Pepsi made use of bus shelters in London to surprise people with an AR campaign, showcasing all sorts of amazing scenes like flying saucers and promenading tigers. The video of the campaign went viral, according to JCDecaux, with more than six million views on YouTube.

Or take a look at the Lynx Angels Will Fall campaign that was launched in 2011. Even back then, AR was big news! Here, a two-day marketing exercise was carried out to promote the Excite fragrance, with commuters in Victoria Station in London able to interact with angels appearing on a huge digital screen.

Similarly, a unique AR experience was recently created at London’s Science Museum on behalf of Coca-Cola to bring to life the issue of disappearing sea ice in the Arctic and the plight of the polar bear. Consumers were able to get up close and personal with a family of polar bears and put questions to animal experts.

The event was a resounding success by all accounts, with 388 pieces of coverage that generated more than 900 comments, and just goes to show what can be achieved if you think outside the box where advertising is concerned.

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