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5 Ways Brands Use Augmented Reality

October 12, 2021

Augmented Reality brings brand messaging and advertisements to life. Instead of trying to capture an audience’s attention with a stagnant, 2D image, brands use AR to engage users in an interactive experience. 

In a nutshell: users love AR and want it, and branded AR increases visibility and sales. There are many benefits for both the user and creator, which is why brands use AR in many different ways. 

Here are some of those benefits and ways brands use Augmented Reality.

Why Brands Use Augmented Reality

The value of Augmented Reality is seen in the numbers. The data shows that social media users actually enjoy interacting with brands. 80% follow at least one company page. 

Also, the coveted younger demographics generally embrace innovative, nontraditional ways of interacting with brands. Rather than passively watching a video commercial, AR actively engages.

This evolving technology makes an easier time standing out above the competition. AR filters are more memorable, and more importantly, shareable. The more creativity is infused in the campaign, the more engaged a potential customer. Ideally, they’ll do the outreach for you by sharing it with their friends.

Better yet, AR filters are affordable. Using social media analytics, brands are better able to reach targeted customer bases. If a product is niche, it certainly helps to spend advertising budgets to reach those who might actually buy it. 

The Different Ways Brands Use Augmented Reality

But what kind of AR would have the most effective results for your brand? What are the different approaches to creating an AR experience? Here are five ways brands use Augmented Reality to help provide inspiration for your next campaign.

1 - Virtual Objects

The fun of AR is seeing an object on your screen with you that isn't really there. Better yet, as you move your screen, so does that object. It is scaled to your real world environment. 

Even cooler, the virtual object can superimpose onto real world items. It appears as three-dimensional as the real physical objects!

One example of a real world object “coming to life” are these traffic boxes in Seattle. To begin, users aim their phones at these real traffic boxes. Then the box appears to “open up.” A superimposed interactive display attached to this box showed information about a research program.

Brands can sometimes struggle to convey new information to a customer base. By being interesting and fun to use, AR experiences provide the opportunity to engage customers. By choosing to have fun with AR, the customer is essentially choosing to learn more about your brand!

2 - Change a Person’s Real World Characteristics

If you’re a social media user, you’re likely very familiar with AR filters. AR filters, like the popular puppy dog filter on Snapchat, overlay virtual characteristics or props on a person. For instance, a person’s face can be altered to include a beard. A CGI animal can appear on a person’s shoulder. Even a face can be changed into a different shape or style.

The point is to make the experience surprising and fun. By providing this experience, brands can build a better long-term bond with their customers.

When the Los Angeles Dodgers won the World Series, local brewery Golden Road was ready. Fans who activated the AR filter saw a virtual Dodgers baseball cap appear atop their head. A specialty Dodgers beer also appeared, as if the fan was holding it in salute. It cracked open to initiate an animation of confetti falling in celebration.

The fan then had the option to take a selfie to share. There was even a helpful tool to let the customer know where they can buy the brand’s product nearby.

3 - Games to Play

A brand can even design a game to attract the potential customer. After all, what higher engagement comes with playing a game?

A game can be simple, such as the “What Disney Character Are You?” game. With a tap of a button, pictures of Disney characters scroll on top of the user’s head. It ends when it stops on a particular character. It’s silly and fun and endlessly replicated for good reason.

Games can also get more complex. We developed an augmented reality cricket game for The Hundred, where players must bat and score as many points as possible.

The key to creating these is to make them fun and accessible. This leads people to share videos of themselves playing the game. The more people share, the more people will be exposed to the brand’s message.

Granted, creating a game is generally more of an investment than some of the other options on this list. Bigger brands benefit from launching a game in order to promote a specific new product.

4 - Trying On Items

Just like changing characteristics, brands can allow users to virtually “try on” their products. Maybe a customer is in the market to buy a pair of sunglasses. 

Usually, people don’t buy sunglasses without trying them on. Experiencing the look through an AR filter can help them decide to purchase online.

The applications are unlimited. Beauty brands can allow people to apply their new lipstick color virtually. Clothing brands can allow customers to try on their selection of clothes in different colors.

The consumer enjoys it because they no longer need to go to the physical store. Plus they get to cycle through lots of potential looks without leaving their couch. Brands enjoy it too by expanding their online shopping initiatives.

5 - Change The World Around You

The above AR uses are mostly pretty simple. But what about immersing the customer even further? Augmented Reality can actually transport the user to another world. 

Rather than introduce CGI elements into the user’s real world environment, the whole environment could be virtual. By using the filter, the customer can find themselves in Yosemite National Park. How about a fantasy world? A filter can place the user in Santa’s Village.

The benefit is giving the customer a memorable experience while also educating them about the product. Since the customer is exploring this world the brand created, they will also interact with the product within it. The immersive and exclusive nature of this experience creates lasting memories of a product. 

Augmented Reality Solution Providers

Deciding which direction to go with Augmented Reality depends on the needs of your brand and your marketing goals. At Aircards, we’ve helped individual entrepreneurs and Fortune 500 companies create impactful and effective AR campaigns. 

Contact us to see how we can help create the best AR experience for your brand.

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