Is augmented reality the future for advertising?

Fad, or best way forward?

Augmented Reality is swiftly becoming the most prominent marketing tool being employed by Marketers. It has the ability to strongly engage consumers by, (for the lack of a better word) augmenting their reality and enabling them to bring brand experiences to life. Sure, they are interesting, and really give us a glimpse into the future of advertising, but has anyone stopped, taken a step away from their screen, and actually thought about the concept of Augmented Reality?

What is Augmented Reality?

In its simplest form, augmented reality is a crafted digital layer, that can't be seen without the presence of a screen, whether it be in the form of a smartphone, computer or billboard. Two specific, yet very separate dynamics are combined when using augmented reality; a multi-dimentional sensory experience and the perception of personal exclusivity. In an advertising sense, augmented reality is a vehicle that gives the brand the opportunity to reach and engage a vast variety of consumers, by involving them in a brand experience.

What are the benefits of Augmented Reality?

1. Reach

With the vast majority of consumers owning at minimum a smart phone, marketers are able to reach you easier than ever. Further, as this strategy can be employed by any brand and the content is typically very engaging, marketers are able to target consumers varying from children to grandparents, all within the one campaign.

2. Engagement

With a dwell time on average of 7 minutes, the engagement of augmented reality speaks for itself. Furthermore, augmented reality has the ability to tap into and provoke consumers emotions through strong sensory and cognitive means.

3. Innovation

If you were to jump on the augmented reality bandwagon quick smart, chances are you will be the first in your industry to employ such strategy. Not only will this make you a pioneer, but it is a channel that allows you to unleash your creative side.

4. Geo-Targeting

As the majority of augmented reality campaigns require a smartphone, which as a prerequisite contains a GPS device, marketers have the opportunity to geo-target. Geo-Targeting is a great tool, which allows you to use the mobiles inbuilt GPS to directly target the consumer within their current surrounds.

5. Measurable ROI

Augmented reality applications have the ability to measure your return on investment by: converting viewers into direct sales, increasing your PR, as well as exponentially gaining brand awareness.

What does it mean for the future?

With technology growing at an astounding rate, the concept of augmented reality seems to only be the tip of the iceberg. Statistics from ABI research uncover that in the US alone, the market for augmented reality is forecasted to hit $350 million in 2014. This is 50 times greater than the 2008 figures of $6 million. If these statistics are anything to go by, it seems that our future may be permanently augmented.

Our favourite example...

In our honest opinion Lynx, thus far takes the cake for the best augmented reality campaign. The Lynx Excite Angles Ad was deployed in Victoria Station, London. Commuters were able to stand on a "lynx marker" and look up at a video billboard which would show the angels fall to earth. Commuters could then directly interact with the angels and watch themselves on the big screen. Checkout the video here of the campaign, take a look at the commuters reactions and let us know what you think about Augmented Reality.

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