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‘It’s not the sexy side of AR’ that matters: three key takeaways from new report

Augmented Reality (AR) is set to be huge in the next few years. But some brands have fallen for the “wow” factor by rushing AR campaigns without thinking about crucial goals such as return on investment, data and bridging the digital and offline worlds.

A new report, Unlocking Augmented Reality For Business, produced by The Drum, in association with AR specialists AdsReality, explores how marketers can achieve these goals without falling into the common AR gimmick trap.

Below are the three main highlights from the report.

1. Marketers that focus on AR “quick hits” will lose out

Marketers that have been allured by the prospect of showcasing marketing campaigns in AR without thinking through the business case may be doing themselves more harm than good. In some cases, the brand even risks alienating the customer and devaluing the technology’s future as a powerful marketing too.

The report cites examples such as the much-hyped wearable Google Glass that was criticised for being “dorky and buggy” and intrusive for everyone around it. Similarly, Japanese footwear brand Onitsuka launched a new pair of AR-enabled trainers with a clunky app and limited exclusive content.

A better approach, the report notes, is to make AR an integral part of a campaign, plan it carefully and look beyond “the experience itself” to avoid being another publicity stunt.

2. Measure the data AR generates – then use it to improve campaigns

While it is fantastic to create a stylish AR campaign, it is important to not get too carried away with the “sexy side of AR”. In other words, concentrate on what is important by using the data generated to plan or amend your campaigns.

Brands that have integrated AR into their apps can discover who is visiting their store, how often and what they will go on to later buy. They can also discover how many people interact with what content and when.

3. AR offers a bridge between digital and offline worlds

As new technologies enter the marketplace, brands have started to invest in AR and this trend is only set to escalate. According to the report, the market has become “two-speed” with mobile AR set to have over twice the number of users than the entire AR/VR headset market by 2021. It addition, AR commerce will soon be on every brand’s agenda, predicted to represent 25% of online retailing by 2035.

For more insights, download the full report here.