Augmented Reality Advertising: How It Works & The Best Campaigns

The augmented reality advertising space is increasing – It’s predicted that 2021 will see Global active users of AR technology reach 811 million by the end of the year. With the Covid-19 pandemic continuing to bring a halt to real world interactions, brands are utilising more innovative methods to capture their audience’s attention.

As part of their annual consumer trend report, Zenith UK highlighted the opportunity for growth that augmented reality advertising has for 2021. They predict that the Global ad spend on augmented reality will continue to grow, increasing more than 30% each year over the next two years until 2023.

With augmented reality no longer being considered an emerging technology, Zenith estimated that 72% of UK adults now consider AR technology to be “fun and engaging” and encouraged brands to seek to adopt augmented reality advertising into their marketing strategies in order to optimise on this.

Here’s what we cover in this article:

The advantages of augmented reality advertising

Augmented reality advertising creates a memorable experience for the consumer. Zenith’s report stated that user experiences that include AR are 70% more memorable. Augmented reality allows advertising to be an interactive experience between the brand and consumer, where the user is an active participant in the advertising they are exposed to.

Research company Neuro-Insight conducted the first UK based study into the relationship between augmented reality and it’s neurological effects on the consumer.  By using brain imaging technology on the 151 participants, they were able to track the brain’s response to the different stimuli the participants were exposed to.

They found that consumer experiences that included AR resulted in almost double the amount of engagement compared to a non-AR experience. In addition, they reported that AR also produces high-attention levels from it’s users.

CEO of Neuro-Insight UK Heather Andrew explained:

“We’ve researched brain response to many different media, and this study has shown that AR delivers exceptionally high attention levels – 45% higher than the average we see for TV viewing or general online browsing.”

These findings were recently supported by Shopify who claimed a 94% increased conversion rate for products that featured AR or 3D content. An immersive experience for the consumer enables a brand to build a stronger connection with its audience, allowing consumers to form positive associations to brands that they have better engagement with. This immersive relationship helps to increase brand profiles and ultimately boost sales. To find out more, read our post: 15 Augmented Reality Facts & Stats.

The challenges that AR presents in advertising

Currently, augmented reality advertising is still a novelty for users who find the experience fun, engaging and memorable. There is the possibility that this novelty could wear off in the future as the use of AR in advertising develops into a mainstream marketing technique, but for now it offers an opportunity for brands to interact with their audience and gain traction in unique ways.

Cost and technology have been perceived as being the biggest obstacles hindering augmented reality’s success in the advertising space. This was reported by a 2019 Unity study of 1000 participants from advertising and marketing fields, where 24.6% highlighted technology and 39.1% stating cost were the biggest issues preventing augmented reality in advertising from becoming mainstream.

But this perception is perhaps altering given how much the world has changed over the last year, spurring on our reliance for all things digital. As our social interactions have reduced due to the Covid-19 pandemic, brands have used modern methods to connect with their audiences.

Using traditional media methods for advertising purposes is no longer the norm, with WARC claiming the following:

“2020 was the worst year on record for traditional advertising media.”

As technology has developed, costs have reduced meaning augmented reality can be a cost-effective marketing tool. With support, technical challenges can be overcome, allowing brands to achieve a memorable and engaging augmented reality advertising campaign.

Our favourite top 4 AR ad campaigns

1. EE 5G Web AR Experience Featuring Rita Ora

In 2020 EE was the most notable brand to launch an immersive AR-based campaign to highlight their 5G service and demonstrate the capabilities of Apple’s iPhone 12 Pro. The web-based AR experience gave users a performance from Rita Ora (as an avatar) and her latest single in their own home. After the performance had ended users were shown a button saying “Discover the Power of 5G” which took them to the EE website.

2. Vaseline 150 Years of Healing

In 2020, the familiar household brand Vaseline marked its 150th birthday and wanted a celebratory campaign to top it off. By scanning a limited edition Vaseline tin users could take a trip through 150 years of history as well as play the 101 Random uses for Vaseline game.

3. McQueen Gin World’s Coolest Labels

McQueen Gin wanted to expand on their adventurous brand and gin-drinking experience with the launch of what they call, the “World’s Coolest Labels”. After downloading the McQueen app, users can scan the label on the bottle and watch the bottle come to life with a vibrant full-length animation showcasing the depth and flavour behind the drink. The immersive AR experience also gives customers the chance to learn more about the distillery through the lemon cartoon character that reflects their alternative approach to gin in the market.

4. Burger King Burn That Ad

2019 saw the iconic Burger King ‘Burn That Ad’ campaign by David SP. Using competitor adverts as a marker, users of the Burger King app in Brazil were able to aim their smartphones and burn their competitors ads using augmented reality. As the flames died down, users were shown a screen inviting them to indulge in a free Whopper at their nearest Burger King.

The future of AR in advertising & marketing

In a consumer insights release, Google recently claimed the following:

“Brands that adopt AR tools can help people make more informed and confident decisions, building brand trust and forming lasting connections with audiences eager to discover them.”

As real-world interactions continue to be reduced in 2021 due to the Covid-19 pandemic,  augmented reality advertising will continue to be utilised by brands who are looking to forge immersive relationships with their audiences.

The future will see augmented reality become a mainstream advertising tactic for brands, allowing consumers to become active participants in advertising campaigns that they find attention-grabbing, engaging and memorable. This will ultimately increase brand awareness, provoke a higher conversion rate for their products and promote an uplift in sales.

Bring your brand to life with AR

We help brands create augmented and virtual experiences through our very own augmented reality platform solution, Reydar. Whether you are looking to build an advertising campaign, a virtual event, gaming experience or virtual tour, contact us to talk about your plans.

Talk to us about your Augmented Reality Advertising requirements