The Future of Augmented Reality in Marketing

Feb 23, 2024 by
The Future of Augmented Reality in Marketing

We all remember Pokémon Go, right? The fun little diversion from those halcyon pre-pandemic days was one of the first widespread uses of augmented reality and, in the ensuing years, it probably seems to many that very little has been done with the technology. However, behind the scenes, AR has emerged as a potentially transformative technology in the marketing landscape.

By overlaying digital information onto the physical world, AR offers immersive experiences that can captivate consumers in increasingly novel, exciting and (most crucially) engaging ways. It’s still early days, of course, but with technology like the Meta Quest 3, which features AR pass-through as standard, not to mention the Apple Vision Pro, coming later this year, there’s never been a better time to get on the AR marketing trend.

The Advent of AR in Marketing

AR in marketing is not just a fleeting trend; it’s a potential paradigm shift in how consumers interact with brands, bringing real kineticism to the experience. It allows for a more engaging and interactive experience, bridging the gap between the digital and physical realms and while it might not be as widespread as we all assumed it would be after the runaway success of those cuddly little pocket monsters back in 2016, several innovative uses of AR in marketing have set the stage for its growing adoption:

In retail, for example, some retailers are using AR to allow customers to try on clothes, makeup, or accessories virtually and AR also allows brands to showcase how products work in a real-world setting, providing a clearer understanding to consumers. It’s all about taking something mundane, such as a shopping trip and transforming it into something extraordinary.

Of course, for marketers, however, the real potential lies in interactive advertisements. Augmented reality ad campaigns might be few and far between but some of the examples from recent years have been real stunners. Take the Pepsi Max campaign, for example, which used AR to put alien invaders and flying buses onto the streets of London or the Nike app which lets users virtually try on new shoes through their smartphone. These are the kinds of activations we’ll hopefully be seeing much more of in the near future.

The Future of AR Marketing

As we move deeper into 2024 and beyond, there are several obvious trends that seem to jump out as being more likely to hit the AR sweet spot. The technology offers a truly unique medium for storytelling, and we can see brands creating more immersive narratives in future that use the very unique properties of AR to tell stories they simply couldn’t tell any other way.

AR can also be used to augment real-world events, adding a layer of digital engagement to physical experiences. It can also offer location-specific content, providing tailored marketing messages based on a user’s location. The real gateway into AR, however, is through gaming. Incorporating game-like elements in AR can really enhance user engagement and brand interaction, particularly for younger consumers.

Of course, to really get ahead in the AR marketing world, marketers and brands must first understand AR and that’s easier said than done, given how fast the dial is moving right now. But as long as you’re creating content that’s innovative, user-friendly and (most importantly of all) enjoyable, you’re certainly on the right track.