These examples of AR in digital marketing show you how the technology can engage customers with immersive experiences.
- AR technology overlays graphics, animations, or sounds on actual physical surroundings using a device and display
- An example of AR in retail marketing is a furniture brand app where customers can see what a couch would look like in their living room
- Event organizations like StubHub use AR to show ticket buyers what their seats would be like before they buy
- Other brands use AR to bring their labels to life, engaging customers with unique experiences
Augmented reality (AR) now has a variety of uses for brands across industries. The global AR market is expected to reach $97.76 billion in 2028, growing at a CAGR of 48.6% between 2021 and 2028.
AR is a unique and engaging way to provide messaging to audiences and help them understand the benefits of a service or product. The technology merges reality with animation or digital information to enhance the customer experience. AR first became popular with trending games like Pokémon Go, but now car companies, clothing brands, furniture stores, event stadiums, and retailers are getting in on the trend.
Your growth marketing strategy should incorporate the latest technologies to stay relevant to your audiences, who expect digital opportunities to engage. Digital marketing campaigns benefit from incorporating AR technology to inspire people to follow a brand or make a purchase. This guide will talk about how you can integrate AR into your strategy with some impressive real-life examples.
What is AR?
Unlike virtual reality, or VR, in which users are completely submerged in another computer-simulated environment, AR integrates and plays with the reality we see in front of us. Using a device like a smartphone, users can view or place elements on top of actual physical spaces or objects, like a room, street, landmark, or product label. AR technology augments the image they see through the device to create an engaging experience, whether with a game, a product, or even job training.
Modern AR displays may include graphics, sounds, videos, and animations. The user needs to have a device with AR capabilities and a way to display the augmented images. It’s common for AR to be paired with smartphone applications, or a user may use a headset to see the content.
Using AR in Retail Experiences
AR in retail is all about showing the customer what it would be like to use the product offered by your brand. You want to immerse them in the experience so they feel it’s real and customers can make a more informed decision about a purchase without having to leave home.
A great AR example can be found in what furniture retailers are doing. Companies like Wayfair, IKEA, Home Depot, and many others now offer customers an immersive experience where they can see what an item would actually look like in their homes. Consumers simply download an app and use their camera feature while shopping to see what a chair or couch would look like in their living room.
Another example in action comes from FaceCake, who has developed the Infinite Virtual Closet to stock with your dream wardrobe and accessories, including items you already own, then try them on virtually so you can see how everything will look, and purchase the items you can’t live without.
These kinds of experiences help customers immerse themselves in the experience of using a product before they buy it. Retail is thus seeing some of the most innovative uses of AR technology in marketing and engagement strategies.
Integrating AR into Event Experiences
Today’s eventgoers often want a preview of what’s to come or to feel like they’re part of the main action. Both are possible with AR technology.
For instance, a few years ago, StubHub used AR to show people buying Super Bowl tickets what their view would look like before they purchased them. The feature offered customers a 3D view of the stadium to determine if they wanted those seats and even showed them the surrounding areas so they would know what accommodations were nearby.
The NFL uses AR to show viewers elements on the actual field that aren’t really there, like the yellow line that indicates a first down during a game. The organization may also rely on AR technology if field conditions are bad so officials can have some way of marking ball locations or help viewers feel like they’re right in the middle of the game, right there on the field.
AR Experiences in Advertising Campaigns
Digital marketers and advertisers are using AR in unique ways to engage with leads and customers. Often, AR advertisements take the form of QR codes that people can scan with their smartphones to view, but sometimes they’re just graphics that can come to life with the right device or application.
A great example is Living Wine Labels. Wine brands that participate bring their labels to life with an app that the user downloads. All a customer has to do is point their phone at the label with the app open, and the figure on the label starts moving or even talking. Jack Daniels also uses a moving label feature with its augmented reality app to bring customers a fun and immersive experience.
Another instance of AR in marketing comes from Netflix. The brand created an AR trailer, where fans were immersed in the world of the TV show Stranger Things using a mobile device and YouTube. Users clicked a link to launch the AR experience and could see themselves in the familiar locations in the show.
AR and your Digital Marketing Strategy
AR technology opens up a lot of opportunities to integrate exciting experiences into your digital marketing campaigns. With filters on social media apps, branded applications, and virtual test drives and product experiences, you can get creative with how you get your marketing messages to your audiences. Think about how your ideal audience wants to interact with brands and what engages and excites them most. Research the platforms they hang out on and consider demographics.