Insights / industry

Augmented Reality May Have a Place in Marketing

I honestly could not figure it out… Last week I was at my friend’s office, and he showed me some of the very cool things that they were doing with augmented reality (AR). He pointed me to a few companies that were using it, including GE, and he even showed me how John Mayer was promoting his personal brand with an AR site.

I was, and still am very impressed with the technology. Seeing a black and white piece of paper come to life is really amazing. What I was struggling with was how it would be used for marketing purposes and how much farther it would have to come in order for the general public to learn about it, and begin to incorporate it into their everyday online life.

After some research, my questions are beginning to be answered and I am understanding the premise for using AR in a campaign.

The first example is Esquire Magazine using AR to make the print version interactive. I like this idea and I think it is a smart direction for print magazines that are specifically aimed at a younger audience. The magazine influences people to purchase the print version and then directs the reader to a specific landing page on the Esquire website. The demographic that is heading to that page is well defined and this should mean big ad dollars for the magazine, assuming it catches on.

The second campaign I just recently heard about is supposed to launch today. It is Valpak’s campaign that is co-branded with the Martha Stewart Show. According to DMNews Valpak mailed out 40 million envelopes to the public and are encouraging people to visit, hold the envelopes up to their camera, and see if they won. They are using this as an opportunity to reach a younger, more social media savvy audience, and are hoping people will share and help them with a viral campaign.

I am interested to see how this works. Will they be able to target a younger audience and will people have any idea what augmented reality is?

I plan on keeping an eye on this and will follow up with whether or not this campaign was successful, and what other companies are doing to implement AR into their marketing efforts.