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More than just a gimmick…

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More than just a gimmick…

A challenge is arising more and more often for marketers; how do you engage with your audience when the market is becoming increasingly saturated?

With mobile, digital and wearable technology becoming the norm, some of the world’s biggest brands are looking to even more interactive methods of reaching their audiences. Over the past couple of years augmented reality (AR) has become a tool marketers have turned to, helping to link print to mobile and creating some really engaging content. Heinz and Coca Cola are great examples of brands using AR effectively as part of an integrated marketing campaign, but where AR really brings more to the consumer is within print.

I recently noticed that AR was being used to make October’s issue of Look magazine more interactive. Usually I would buy the magazine to browse the pages for high-street fashion ideas, whereas in this issue I could use Blippar to make the page come to life as it unlocked exclusive behind-the-scenes videos, how-to tutorials as well as allowing me to shop the items I liked! This was more than just a magazine, this was a whole online experience but still with the gratification of the printed article in front of you. It even led to me making a purchase.

Now this may not be the most ground-breaking use of the technology in comparison to the likes of National Geographic’s live AR example, but it certainly heightened my experience with the magazine and made me think; as more print-to-mobile activations become available, AR seems to be the most exciting, impactful method that enables consumers to go further. And as the consumer tech world awaits the arrival of wearable technologies, will it be AR apps that define the future of smart eyewear?

We’ve all heard that Google Glass is on its way and predicted to become as popular as the Apple iPhone, so why aren’t more brands investing in this AR technology now?

This may be because, although not brand new, AR can still be seen as something quite different and even too risky for some marketers. But as mobile, digital and wearable technology becomes more important within a purchasing journey, technologies such as AR should be relished to make the user experience even more exciting and engaging.

Almost 75% of UK consumers now own a smartphone and the global market for smart glasses could amount to almost 10 million units from 2012 through to 2016. So with this in mind and the run up to Christmas well under way, this is the opportune time for brands and retailers to embrace AR technologies in their digital campaigns to entice consumers to engage with their products in a more innovative and interactive way.

Rebecca Irwin
Raving Reporter

Southpaw Communications Ltd

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