Top 5 ways brands can utilize augmented reality

Top 5 ways marketers are utilizing augmented reality Augmented reality is everywhere right now. Some are questioning whether it is a fad, or could it be a viable tool for marketers. Yes, there are some technical bugs to be worked out and some ill conceived campaigns but used strategically and creatively AR can be a powerful experience. Here is a list of some of the best ways brands have been using AR:

Enhancing Traditional Print Campaigns
Instead of just having a small “www” invitation to a brand website on a magazine ad, entice them with a teaser for additional content or even an exclusive offer they can only see using the printed piece to unlock the information online.

One of the first brands to use AR, Mini Cooper enhanced their campaign across multiple German auto magazines with a detailed 3D model of the MINI convertible.

Both Best Buy and Wal-Mart have used AR with their weekly circular distribution. Best Buy 3D highlighted their new Twitter service Twelpforce, and Wal-Mart’s “Your Zone 3D“  demonstrated the creative options for their teen furniture line.

UGC Content
With a webcam and cool 3D graphics, brands can empower amateur film makers to create their own videos.

For the promotion of the latest Harry Potter movie “Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince”Warner Brothers created a YouTube channel welcoming the audience to enter the “Advanced Potion-Making Experience” video contest. The video with the 3D graphics were captured and uploaded directly on the YouTube channel.

Using a Molson’s beer bottle fans controlled animated party messages which could be recorded and uploaded to the age-verified Website.

Facebook App
Creating an AR application within Facebook utilizes an active social audience that shares and expands the reach of a campaign.

Kia created the “Go Hamster Go!” Facebook application to promote the new Soul with an interactive branded game that uses face recognition to incorporate the gamer directly into environment.

Try-it-before you buy it
Having a consumer “see” a product as their own is half the battle. AR can be used as a new techie way of sampling.

In the magic mirror idea, Ray Ban created an application that allows fashionistas to try-on several sunglass styles.

One savvy marketing student put together a submission for Future Lions 2009 as a concept for IKEA.  It uses AR to layout and design your home with furniture from IKEA in scale. Clearly, this would be a great tool for amateur decorators.

Enhancing a Product Purchase
Rewarding consumers with additional experience for purchasing product.

An image on the back of a bag of Doritos Late Night provided behind the velvet rope VIP access to a concert with blink 182 and Big Boi.

Mattel is including “web tags” with each of it’s new Avatar action figures, extending the real-world toy with additional online character biographies and animations. The 3-D images will react to each other when two of the tags are on screen together.

Here are a few other AR campaigns:
Sponge Bob

Star Trek Movie

GamerDistrict 9

Chris Angel Mind Freak

Gamer – Who’s Playing you