Augmented Reality Advertising in 2020 – What, Why, and How

Augmented Reality Advertising

“Jaguar Land Rover let consumers virtually test drive its new car, the Velar, through an AR-enabled banner ad campaign. The campaign produced an average dwell time of 121 seconds -- 15x the industry average.”

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As business owners and advertisers, we are always on the hunt for ways to engage our customers more genuinely and successfully. Engagement is the key to success for a brand, so anything that can deliver that golden ticket is worth pursuing. 

One of the buzziest trends in marketing seems to do just that. Augmented reality (AR) advertising uses technology to immerse your customers in a virtual experience with your product or services. So far, the numbers seem to show that this major leap in advertising tech is worth it – users who engage with an AR campaign are significantly more likely to make a purchase.

In this post, we’ll explore the current AR trends and platforms being used to enhance buyer experiences in a variety of industries. 

What is AR?

Augmented reality refers to the use of technology that overlays a computer-generated image over the world that we see. Compare this with virtual reality, which requires a user to be immersed in an entirely computer-generated environment. Augmented reality blends the two. A user isn’t removed from their environment, but their environment is augmented or enhanced. 

The most famous example of AR tech was 2016’s “Pokemon Go” mobile game. Users sought various Pokemon characters in their physical environments. An image of people wandering around “aimlessly” with their phones pointed out ahead of them should be popping into your mind right now. 

While that game was a roaring success, it doesn’t capture the full picture, or capabilities, of AR tech. Let’s explore a few industries that are using AR to better learn about and engage their customers.

Examples of how companies are using AR 

Clothing: The clothing, beauty, jewelry, and shoe industries are using AR to bring users a “try on at home” experience. Take trendy eyeglass company Warby Parker as an example. Their virtual try-on experience uses Apple’s Face ID tech to scan customers’ face shapes and then recommend various frame styles that would best suit their face. This experience provides both the opportunity to “sample” the company’s product, but also gives a boutique sales-person experience to the buyer.


Warby Parker AR

Furniture: One researcher told the New York Times, “Furniture retailers have known for some time that people are more comfortable buying a big-ticket or bulky item, like a dining set or a custom sectional, if they can virtually see it in their own space first.” So, we’re sure you can guess how the furniture industry is using AR to further reach potential customers. 

Companies like Pottery Barn and IKEA are using AR to allow users to see items in their own homes via their websites or apps, and sometimes even within their Facebook feeds. 


Pottery Barn AR


Conventions: AR has made quite a splash in the convention sphere over the last few years, which makes sense considering that one of the main goals of a convention is to connect and engage with peers in a specific industry or role. 

This is especially true during convention exhibition fairs. More and more companies are using AR to capture the attention of convention attendees. At Adobe Max, a yearly convention of creative professionals sponsored by Adobe, users were able to trial their new Adobe Aero iPad app (more on this to come!) to see what the possibilities were for their own companies. 


Adobe Aero AR


Food and Beverage: One of the most successful AR campaigns of the last few years was pioneered by none other than Jack Daniel’s whiskey. Once users downloaded the Jack Daniel’s app, they could scan any bottle of whiskey they purchased and experience a pop-out storybook-style tour of the distillery, whiskey-making process, and insight into the man himself, Jack. 

Jack Daniels AR


The top AR platforms to create and view experiences

So, we’re assuming you’re sold on the power and potential of AR. Where do you begin?

Here’s a list of the top AR platforms available now for marketers of all experience levels:

  • Adobe’s Aero – doesn’t require any knowledge of coding and seamlessly integrates with designs you’ve created in other Adobe programs such as Photoshop or Illustrator. 
  • Apple’s ARKit – leverages the power of Apple technologies (face recognition, for example) to offer a robust menu of options for designers.
  • Google’s ARCore – Google offers designing options on any operating system. So whether you use Android, IOS, or Unity, they’ve got you covered.
  • Zapworks
  • Vuforia Engine 

Let’s go back to the beginning for a second. As a business owner, your ultimate goal, always, is to connect authentically with your customers so that they gain trust and loyalty in your brand. 

What better way to gain your customers’ trust than with an immersive experience that allows them to see a more realistic version of who you and your company are? Augmented reality offers a true advantage to brands looking to further their ability to engage. 

Contact the experts to get started on your own product’s unique packaging design today.