“AR is an enhanced view of a real-world environment. It uses technology to supplement the user’s normal view with additional content that enhances the experience.”
// Marta Rauch, @martarauch

Your family and you are attending a ballgame. As you near the stadium entrance, you see a small crowd forming near a mobile led screen billboard. You wonder what’s happening, when a friendly brand ambassador greets you. She explains that the ABC Brand is hosting an augmented reality experience – and it’s free and easy to participate.

Your kids are really into this idea. They love AR, VR and gamification on their devices. (OK, they love all things on their devices.) Their ‘excited’ smiles come out.

So you walk over to the mobile billboard and join the other fans. With the help of that same brand ambassador, you download the ABC Brand app and aim your device at the creative.

All of a sudden, that mobile billboard creative comes to life…right there on your device! It’s a new view of the physical world in which you’re standing.

You’re so fascinated, you’re sharing your phone with your kid…and the fans walking by. The crowd is growing larger.

You snap a photo and share it socially. ABC Brand replies to your tweet with more information and a thank you.

The brand ambassador helps you unlock a special offer. You’re really impressed by ABC Company and can’t wait to try it out.

You’ve now enjoyed several minutes near this brand activation, that otherwise, you would have noticed for a few seconds as you walked by.

During the 7th inning stretch, you search on your phone for ABC Company to learn more.

The New AR

While Google, Apple and Microsoft begin designs on early iterations of wearable AR tech, Bold Content predicts the number of AR users is expected to grow by 35% a year over the next 5 years.

VR and AR are developing at an astounding rate and are now being used in the majority of industries, such as the sporting industry which has recently begun to produce game simulators (visit shopindoorgolf.com/collections/skytrak-golf-simulators to see the latest golf simulator for example). It’s been on most 2018 trend lists and as AR continues to evolve and grow, it’s catching the attention of marketers.

No longer is AR tied to a specific latitude and longitude, as made famous by the Pokemon Go era. Today, you can include a specific trigger graphic into any piece of creative that will launch an AR experience through an app.

This trigger creative is changing how brands add value and relevance to their audience’s lives.

“I’m excited about Augmented Reality because unlike Virtual Reality which closes the world out,” Apple CEO Tim Cook explained, “AR allows individuals to be present in the world but hopefully allows an improvement on what’s happening presently. […] That has resonance.” With the constant developments being made in augmented reality software, it’s exciting to see its potential finally being realized.

Turn Media Into Moments

Just as the fictional family was captivated by the example in the beginning of the article, your brand fans can be mesmerized, too. AR gives you a unique opportunity to transplant someone into an enhanced reality. It allows you to add your brand to their existing world – in an upbeat and memorable way!

The AR experience lives on a branded app. Once downloaded, a user simply points their app at the graphic, and voila! A new layer of content or information will appear within their physical world.

This new information could include special offers, gamification, character entertainment, videos or access to existing brand content. Social share links can be accessible, as well as photo capabilities. Data capture is also possible. (What isn’t possible with AR?!)

Because our mobile billboards can target the right audience in the right locations, moving from key events to high traffic areas, it makes a lot of sense to use the creative trigger on our larger-than-life formats.

The AR element turns the already powerful OOH message into an experience, extending the brand-to-consumer engagement time and creating new memorable media for consumers.

A field marketing team will increase engagement levels, as they will introduce consumers to AR in a friendly and entertaining way. A consumer will walk away delighted – and with branded content living right on their mobile device.

Extending Your AR Experience

Because there are development costs associated with augmented reality, you’ll want to get the most exposure for your investment.

We recommend collaborating with our strategic routing coordinators to develop a longer flight for your mobile billboard campaign, or one that drives your AR experience into multiple markets.

The creative trigger can then be placed on other media formats: print ads, bus shelters, in-store posters and on your digital display ads. But we recommend getting the word out with brand ambassadors and social engagement first, so the call to action isn’t missed. To help you build your brand and get the word out, it may be worth using something like an instagram scheduler to help you regularly post relevant content to really engage your audience!

To consider adding augmented reality to your media campaign, give us a shout. We offer a fully turnkey AR development program that will have your audience saying “wow” in a few weeks time.