Reality Made Better and the Ads that Support It
Augmented Reality (AR) is a term that’s been floating around for years. In fact, one of the first AR technologies on the market helped streamline production for Boeing in the 90s. A decade later and the use of simulations exploded for everything from teaching pilots to handling maintenance in real-world conditions. In 2008, the first AR game hit smartphones around the globe, and AR space started to really take off. Today, AR is used for everything from hyper-interactive games to surgical procedures, and advertising is just another step along the way.
Enhancing Ads with AR
Science fiction has shown the potential for AR in advertising for decades, with movies showing everything from personalized ad pop-ups in movies like, “Minority Report,” to entire digital worlds that seamlessly interact with reality like in the show, “Altered Carbon.” Essentially, AR adds another layer to the real world. What you see with the naked eye is augmented with sound, touch reactive tokens, location beacons and more. This works out to three basic ways for advertisers to interact with modern consumers:
- Brand overlays
- Navigation and traffic assistance
- Showrooming in a digital space
Is AR a Today or Future Technology?
One of the big questions about any new marketing channel revolves around readiness. Is this avenue mature enough to be worth the investment? With AR, the recent success of Pokemon Go points to a resounding, “Yes.” Yes, this technology is mature enough to add value to today’s marketing efforts. With 80 million domestic smartphone users signing into AR apps at least monthly, this option presents an incredible opportunity for early adopters.
Defining the AR Market
For brands looking to gain traction with the Millennial market, AR offers a unique value proposition. After all, most users fall into that category, with Gen Z coming up behind them. AR is the communication methodology of the future. By overlaying digital information, marketers can communicate to consumers in real-time and based on their current activities. Imagine showing local users a visual guide to your storefront, or displaying an outfit along with a current sale offer. This is how AR can interact with your customers, all using technology readily available today. Some big brands are already jumping into the AR channel with custom-built apps. AR can reduce the need for direct sales staff and brick and mortar stores by giving consumers a closer look at products without the need for touch. The AR industry is predicted to hit $60 B by 2020, making it a fast-growing and highly applicable channel for future marketing efforts.
Sandor Jones | June 12, 2018