The Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR) have changed the way businesses interact with their audiences. With the advancement in technology the tastes and preferences of customers are changing and businesses need to keep a pace with the same.
AR has become a buzzword in Tech World, but it is not just limited to animation and gaming. It has a glorifying prospect in many industries. From healthcare to education, to construction to hospitality. AR has emerged as a great concept in these industries.
Now AR has taken a shape in advertising and changing the way digital marketing functions.
As the smart phone users in India are rising everyday so smart phones are becoming the most significant medium through which customer interacts with brands and make purchase decisions.
AR and VR are the emerging trends in marketing that allows brands to interact with their customers and give their customer a better experience with the convenience of tapping on their phone screens.
AR and VR in advertising have seen huge growth over the past few years and have allowed advertisers to create engaging campaigns. So the consumers are open to more useful content and offers a deep emotional connection with brands.
Augmented Reality has changed the advertising experience for customers. Let us discuss how AR and VR in Advertising have empowered brand communication.
The Use of Augmented Reality in Advertising
Understanding Augmented Reality (AR)
To understand Augmented Reality we first need to understand Spatial Computing. What is it?
Spatial computing is nothing but a shift from 2-Dimensions to 3-Dimensions. To make this shift computers need to understand space. Understanding space refers to understanding surroundings including objects, natures, and humans.
The computer can understand space using Sensors, camera devices, and Artificial Intelligence (AI).
Once the computer starts understanding space we can use this computer to replicate our real-world surroundings and place similar digital objects and view them through smart glasses and even through our Smart-phones.
This is Augmented Reality (AR).
Understanding Virtual Reality (VR)
When this informed computer creates a virtual world or occludes us completely from the real-world.
And we are able to make movement through, interact with the environment in these computer-created surroundings with the help of a Head-Mounted Display (HMD) or any other sensing device.
This can happen because the computer is sensing our physical movement.
This is called Virtual Reality (VR).
AR in Advertising
Augmented Reality (AR) has seen a huge growth in past years and has a huge potential in the advertising domain. Many brands are taking help of AR for augmenting their brand campaign for experiential engagements.
There are many such examples of AR and VR in Advertising, remember Virtual trial of lenses on Lenskart. Now imagine virtual trial rooms for clothing brands.
Bought a new TV, imagine if user manual is not there and you can see user instructions on your smart phone screen.
And many more of such Display Ads are there like Asian Paints (Try Wall Painting), Funtiture placement by IKEA, and 360 degree view by Pepperfry etc.
As internet and smart phones are reaching to number of hands. There are approximately 4.66 billion active internet users globally. About 59.5% of total global population. While there are more than 3 billion smart phone users across globe.
This statistic is enough to explain why AR and VR in Digital Marketing and Advertising is facing a significant boom over these years. The Digital advertisements are expected to reach about $520 billion by 2023. While augmented reality market is expected to reach about $198.2 billion by 2025.
Augmented reality (AR) is being used by early adopters as of now but soon it will grow as number of user rises.
The major reasons why Augmented Reality (AR) would be an inseparable part of Advertising are mentioned below; let’s go through them.
As discussed earlier AR and VR in advertising helps advertisers to create life-like campaigns and also allow customers to interact. This helps in creating emotional connection with the brand.
Unlike any poster, imagine an eye catching billboard of “Maggi masala cuppa noodles”. Now guess what magic AR can create. People passing-by can point their smart phones and see how to prepare Maggi masala cuppa noodles on their phone screens.
These AR and VR ads are really very interactive and give the sense of playing engaging video games to customers, and help the brand to build emotional connect with their customers. It not only helps brand to increase sales but to create a brand reputation.
For any AR ads, brand just need to create a marker and place it over any media, which customers can scan with their smart phone’s camera and enjoy an immersive advertisement.
Anyhow the cost of an AR ad varies with respect to their quality. But it is yet very economical than placing an ad in a bestselling magazine, or on a TV channel during prime time.
With the help of AR and VR in advertising, brands cannot just create immersive campaigns and promote their brand but they can offer virtual try-on which can boost sales.
Improved Hyperlocal Advertisement
Digital Marketing uses advanced level of machine learning which understand the customer’s preferences over multiple interactions. With the help of which brand cannot just suggest them better product and services but also can guide on how to get them.
Best Practices to keep in mind for your AR advertising
AR ads are not like simple pamphlets or a poster on the street wall which people see and forget but are very immersive and interactive and gives customers an excellent experience.
So, there are certain things to be kept in mind while creating AR advertisements. Let us quickly take a look.
To have a clear goal about the kind of AR ad you want to create and what kind of AR ad would be right for your brand is important in order to visualize, to gain the attention, and to personalize your ad for your target customer.
To have a simple concept this would be easily understood by your target customer. Such ad would allow your customers to interact easily.
Oneplus India created an Instagram filter using AR to give its customer first virtual un-boxing experience in the industry.
While creating an Augmented Reality (AR) ad there should be clear instructions and call to action to customer so they can easily interact with your brand and stands on your motives.
Promote experience over other media
It is important to have an integrated marketing communication over all the media of communication to convey a single and solid message to your target customers.
AR campaigns can be shared over usual media such as social media, email, content, magazines, billboards, product packaging etc.
A billboard which can be interacted by scanning a marker (snap code) placed on billboard through Snapchat.
The spatial computing is completely set to disrupt brand advertising market. AR in marketing helps brands to understand the customer better and so the brand can deliver what is expected by the customer.
AR and VR in advertising are still under their infancy but soon every brand will adopt it to serve their customer better and to gain competitive advantage.
AR and VR in Digital Marketing are taking over the space during this pandemic as every eye is on phone screen. Brand has an opportunity to extract the best out of this technology and to entertain and engage their customer at the same time while promoting their brand.
Brand should understand this shift and reap the benefits of this new form of brand promotion.
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Applications and Benefits of Augmented Reality across various industries