With a rise in technological advances, the presentation used by marketers is evolving. Particularly, augmented reality is a newly developed method of communicating information. It delivers content to users by immersing them in three-dimensional digital imagery, which works by displaying virtual content over the tangible world. Sensors display digital information onto specific objects, and conform to their movement and shape. Augmented reality has been of recent interest to marketers because its mechanism directs a company’s message to consumers in an engaging, interactive and memorable way.
Is Augmented Reality already being used by companies?
Augmented reality has been seen on numerous apps. One example is Snapchat, an app for sending and sharing photos. This app has popularized A.R.’s use in much of the general population. The app has around 158 million users, and many businesses are using geotags and filters to promote themselves (Business Insider, 2017). The app uses augmented reality to let users apply digital images onto their moving faces and surroundings. This feature is one of the most pivotal contributors to Snapchat’s success. The interactive, virtual filters make the app fun to use and addictive. Many of the augmented filters have become universally iconic and globally well known, which run parallel with the goals of marketing for businesses. Though this feature in Snapchat has not been made available to advertisers, it may become a venue for marketing in the future. Besides using A.R. for social media, it also has a place in gaming. As was seen with Pokémon Go, people respond to A.R. games. In all, these kinds of applications work toward building memorable and intriguing experiences, which are characteristics that help promote businesses. The place for advertisement in these platforms are forming, which will eventually revolutionize video marketing.
How does Augmented Reality benefit businesses?
The excitement that comes with augmented reality can also be directly and independently used to promote businesses. For instance, the popular ice cream company, Dippin’ Dots, created an app that allows customers to make the store rain Dippin’ Dots in any of their locations. Similarly, McDonalds has increased child engagement by creating an app that combines with the Happy Meal box to form captivating visual experiences. In both of these examples, consumers are using the technology to become fully immersed in the products. This interaction makes them associate the company with positive feelings and gives them incentive to return to the business. Additionally, it has also been used to expand imagery in magazines. Developers have made it possible for smartphone holders to scan images on paper, which are then altered to reveal graphics and text that would otherwise be unseen. A.R.’s use successfully grabs the consumer’s attention because of its curiosity provoking and alluring nature.
With its entertaining nature also comes practicality. Notably, Yelp has used augmented reality to promote itself. The brand developed a tool called Monacle, which displays qualitative ratings of businesses when the user holds up their smartphone camera to buildings. Instead of having to do research online, the user is able to instantly and clearly see ratings. This speedy method saves consumers time and makes it easier to view and compare the quality of services. Augmented reality is not only engaging, but it can also useful.
Why is Augmented Reality gaining popularity so quickly?
The examples above show the power of this technological innovation. The reason these digital interfaces are successful is because humans naturally process and retain information from visuals better than they do from text. In fact, humans process visual information about 60,000 times quicker than they process writing. Augmented reality guarantees viewer engagement because of its three-dimensional nature. Images in 3-D will, without a doubt, stimulate and entertain consumers. Moreover, augmented reality is said to increase the emotional connection of consumers to companies, thus, increasing their loyalty. The good impression it leaves on users makes them associate the company with positive feelings. Research shows that the emotional power of an advertisement is more important to company success than the content of an advertisement (Reveali, 2017).
Augmented reality is still a new and developing technology, but it has high potential. The level of smartphone usage has undoubtedly increased, and phones are becoming the major source of entertainment in modern nations. A.R. is a strong medium that advertisers can use to familiarize consumers with their companies.