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Marketing Insights: Augmented Reality Advertising

March 16, 2020

Augmented Reality advertising has been around for a while now. It has been contained to app-based experiences, where brands have already invested in a mobile application so they could implement AR experiences within the app pretty easily. However the drawback to this was that for consumers to view the AR experience, they had to download the app first. For new customers or just interested 'joe bloggs' off the street, this requirement to download was a step too far. It introduces a hurdle, and if there's one thing that kills good advertising - it's hurdles.

This hurdle has now been overcome with WebAR.

What is WebAR?

Web-based Augmented Reality, known as WebAR, uses web browsers instead of apps to deliver the augmented reality experience. WebAR has given marketers the opportunity to use Augmented Reality within their marketing plans WITHOUT the requirement for consumers to download an app. No hurdles, no clunky user-experience, just clean and simple AR advertising with proven positive ROI's.

Example of AR Restricted to App-only

In 2019, Burger King launched an Augmented Reality advertising experience, viewable through the BK app. Consumers could download the app, open the app, point their phone at a Miccy D's advert and set the ad ablaze! As it is with most Burger King advertising, it was bold and shocking. This AR experience drove serious brand awareness. 

But, what if this was an app-less WebAR experience? How many more hundreds of thousands of customers would have viewed the AR experience and ultimately have been driven in-store to redeem their free burger? Kudos to the BK marketing team, but there's certainly room for improvement.

Burger king advertising
Burger King Augmented Reality

Augmented Reality Advertising with WebAR

For the Burger King AR experience, users had to first download the app and then open the app each time they wanted to enjoy the experience. WebAR removes both of those obstacles. For WebAR experiences, users simply open their device’s camera and point it at the augmented reality advertising material. The AR experience then automatically launches. 

For the BK experience, users had to commit up to a few minutes of their time to download and open the app. For a WebAR experience, users only have to invest a few seconds to launch the AR experience. From a few minutes to a few seconds-- what a difference!

Benefits of WebAR 

Every marketer knows customers have short attention spans. So, transforming a few minute launch process into a few seconds obviously has huge advantages.  Web Augmented Reality advertising has many other benefits as well:

  • Frictionless User Experience (No app required!)
  • More likely to go viral
  • Compelling CTA
  • Real-time augmented reality analytics
  • Much higher engagement rates with:
  • Increased dwell time
  • Increased click rates
  • Increased sales & conversions

Examples of Web-based Augmented Reality Advertising

Example #1: Bon V!V

This OOH Augmented Reality advertising campaign is a perfect example to compare to Burger King’s Burn That Ad campaign. Bon V!V tasked Aircards with transforming wall murals into virtual vending machines. Passers-by are prompted to simply point their device’s camera at the ad to select their favorite flavor of Bon V!V Spiked Seltzer, which is then dispensed in augmented reality. 

Without WebAR, passers-by would have first had to download an app to enjoy this fun experience. But unlike the BK ad that required an app, users could instantly access the AR experience, getting them a huge step closer to making a purchase.

Example #2: Piercepoint TTB Plug

Drillware used this WebAR experience, built by the Web AR marketing campaign experts Aircards to drive awareness of their new innovative plug product, the Piercepoint TTB Plug. This Augmented Reality advertising campaign used 3D animation that came to life from their Outdoor Advertising posters, activated from your standard iOS or Android device camera.

Augmented Reality advertising outdoors
Augmented Reality Outdoor Advertising Poster

Example #3: AR Business Card

Augmented Reality advertising doesn’t require wall murals or big posters. It can be applied to virtually any marketing medium, from product packaging to postcards, business cards and more. No matter the size of the marketing material, Augmented Reality can transform it into a big experience. 

AR Advertising Strategies

WebAR has made Augmented Reality advertising a viable option for big and small brands. After all, brands no longer have to invest in an app to provide the experience. Since AR advertising can be scaled to any size marketing material, AR campaigns can also be scaled to different-sized budgets. In many cases, you can take any traditional marketing strategy that has been effective for your brand and give it a drastic upgrade with Augmented Reality.

Augmented Reality advertising should be deployed in a way that is seamless from the user-experience point of view. Consumers should be given clear instructions on how to activate the AR experience and shown clear Call-to-Actions within the experience to drive that all-important ROI.

AR Advertising Goals

We've seen brands use Augmented Reality advertising campaigns to drive lead generation, e-commerce sales, brand awareness and existing customer retention. So, it depends on what your goals are for your campaign. Identify your campaign goal and adjust your AR advertising strategy accordingly.

Regardless of your goals, you can expect an unprecedented engagement rate with any AR advertising campaign. Our case studies consistently show 40%+ engagement rates!

augmented reality advertising strategy
AR Advertising Strategy

What Can We Expect in the Future?

Expect brands to get more and more creative with their Augmented Reality advertising campaigns. Burger King set the bar, but now with the introduction of Web-based Augmented Reality, brands can be far more reactive with their advertising campaigns. Quicker and more affordable deployment of AR marketing campaigns will increase the frequency in which customers will consume AR experiences.

You can see other examples of innovative AR advertising campaigns on the Aircards YouTube channel, as well as a WebAR campaign showreel on the homepage. Take a look, get inspired and go launch the next big viral marketing campaign.

Contact Us today to learn how AR advertising can take your brand to the next level.