The rise of augmented reality for strategic marketing

Social media platforms have become a critical place for advertisers to showcase their products to their target audiences, and with new technologies emerging all the time, businesses are finding new and innovative ways to integrate them into their marketing strategy.

When Snapchat first introduced face filters to their app in 2015, the potential of augmented reality to engage consumers started to be realised. Recently, Facebook announced at its F8 developer conference that it had started to test out AR in the news feed section of the platform. After the recent data security scandals and the associated decline in user growth that have hit the company, wiping billions off its value, it’s no surprise they are trying to find new and engaging ways to win over advertisers and consumers.

These new AR features are only available to a few big-name brands currently, such as Michael Kors, Bobbi Brown and Sephora, but if the tests go well, you can be sure to see them rolled out universally soon.

Instagram also features AR filters in the ‘stories’ section of the app, and since the platform is owned by Facebook, the two apps jointly promise to be the biggest AR platform in the world.


VR vs. AR – What’s the difference?

Many people will remember VR (Virtual Reality) being the big buzz phrase a couple of years ago, enabling consumers to enjoy an immersive experience in a virtual world, using a VR headset. Although the technology is still going strong in the gaming industry, with companies like Google launching new headsets all the time, it has taken a backseat to AR on social media because of AR’s more promising ad revenue potential.

The difference between virtual reality and augmented reality is essentially VR’s ability to take you into a new virtual environment, with 360-degree visuals that you wouldn’t be able to experience in full without a headset. In contrast, augmented reality allows graphics to feature as an overlay on videos or photos on your smartphone or tablet device, providing companies like Facebook with new advertising opportunities to offer their business customers. As Ty Ahmad-Taylor (Vice President of Product Marketing) stated: “People now expect a personalized and visually inspiring experience wherever they shop — whether on their phone or in-store, which is why video will play an increasingly important role in the mobile shopping experience.”


Apple AR Kit, one step ahead?

Apple recently launched a new AR kit which overlays 3D graphics on the screens of the user’s surroundings. Unlike, the experience offered by Facebook and the like, the AR kit has the ability to measure dimensions of objects in the room, as well as delivering motion tracking, making it a more sophisticated all-round experience. The AR kit appears to be a step in the right direction for Apple, as the company looks to innovate in the wake of a surprise drop in sales of its flagship iPhone over the last 12 months.

With technology giants like Facebook, Apple and Snapchat all introducing AR technology into our everyday lives, it is clearly just a matter of time before it becomes a mainstay in the advertisers’ toolbox. Brands are already encouraged by AR’s potential to fuel impulse buying by consumers. If you are a social media user, the chances are, if it hasn’t already, AR will influence you to make a ‘spur of the moment’ purchase soon.

#MarketingTitbits – paper, augmented reality, Google

  1. FINAL-ONE-SMALLERHow a 75 year old piece ofpaper started modern communicationIn October 1938, an American physicist, inventor and patent attorney, Chester Carlson spent a Saturday morning with his assistant creating the world’s very first dry copy. The world’s first xerographic image read “10.-22.-38 ASTORIA”. It took another 4 years before Carlson was issued a patent on his new process, which was eventually renamed xerography, a name which was later appropriated by the multinational printing company Xerox. Carlson’s invention heralded the beginning of modern computing and prompted the invention of the photocopier, which changed the way that people work in offices forever.

    2. Augmented reality

    Augmented reality is a view of the real world which has been edited or augmented by technology in some way. The idea of augmented reality has been around since 1901 when L. Frank Baum, the author best known for The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, spoke about the idea of an electronic display overlaying data onto real life. Despite this, nothing was put into practice until 1962, when cinematographer Morton Heilig invented and patented Sensorama, a simulator with visuals, sound, vibration, and smell. Between 1901 and 2013 a lot has changed, technology has moved from a simple idea to Google announcing the beta phase of Google Glass, turning the idea into reality.

However, it is not just those lucky few Google Glass users that can get to experience augmented reality. Increasingly, there are a wide variety of mobile apps that use augmented reality to enhance your real life experience. This year, Ikea and Audi have released augmented reality apps that are not just for fun. Ikea’s app lets users ‘try out’ furniture and artwork in their home before they buy it and Audi have developed an augmented reality handbook app for their newest Audi A1 model.

3. Shared endorsements from Google

This week, Google updated its terms and conditions and the changes might give you cause to think carefully about the comments or ratings you give to anything on Google’s services like Google+ and YouTube. Google can now use adult users’ comments and ratings and provide them to companies to use as endorsements for internet advertising. These are accompanied with the endorsers’ names and photos.

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