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AR – The next chapter in Marketing and Brand Communication Experiences

Today, innovation is expected from both advertisers and cutting-edge brands which become more and more sophisticated with the arrival of each new technology. Augmented Reality  (AR) is just that — an additional layer of sophistication to your brand’s communication strategy.

AR creates rich and immersive interactive user experiences which not only offer the client additional information, they personalise communications through apps that they have installed on their smart-phones. AR can be used to create in-store promotion guides, to guide shoppers to sale items and promotions. It is worth remembering that the internet now influences more than half of all retail transactions, in terms of the consumer decision journey. This is a market of almost two trillion dollars!

Whilst an advert is the same for each person who sees or hears it, an AR content can be personalised for the individual user. This degree of personalisation is going to cause serious disruption in future business models. It has already been estimated that the potential market for AR apps is going to be in the region of 90 billion dollars by the year 2020.

Although people have talked since the 1990s about the “death of print”, print is very much alive, well and here to stay, thank you! However, when combined with AR, print can now leap off the page and AR apps can generate new revenue streams though hybrid media storytelling. Several prestigious journals in the US are already experimenting with this kind of approach.    

Language is another area where AR is becoming a game-changer. In France, a three-way collaboration between a theatre, a high-profile digital company and a start-up, have developed an AR application which enables theatre-goers to read subtitles to a foreign language show, direct on their phone.   

AR apps can also be seamlessly embedded in rich social media experiences. An innovative app is made for sharing with friends and colleagues in social situations and in this way, AR opens a powerful route for brands to increase consumer awareness. Whilst all can be shared, the personalisation of content deepens the experience for each user.

Although not yet mainstream, the future is clearly in AR, and we are going to see more and more AR-rich communications in the years to come. The reasons for this are clear. In one recent study, people were shown to interact with an AR based advertisement four times longer that with the print copy of the same ad. Creating a meaningful exchange which is both social and fun can be achieved with AR in a single step. Two key words stand out here — interactive and immersive. Whilst the web is interactive, the immersive aspect is only reached with technologies like AR and this is where their power lies. Add to this some powerful analytics, and here are the keys to the next level of business disruption.

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Whether your printed materials are aimed at providing education, information, entertainment or product demonstrations, they rely on attracting the desired readership and providing a memorable experience.

By using Augmented Reality to enhance the appeal of your printed items, you can add previously undreamt levels of interaction and engagement. In this example for an organic vegetable home delivery service, the user can trigger content from a flyer, make and order their own box out of 3D ingredients that appear to float their environment, find out more about where the food comes from and also access recipes and links.

It is a very effective way of communicating the brand in an engaging and meaningful way that resonates with the audience.