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    4. July 06, 2019

      Leveraging Augmented Reality To Your Marketing Advantage

      Brian Weiner

      Brian Weiner
      Founder and CEO /The Illusion Factory & Sizzle, Inc.

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      As the world of Augmented Reality explodes around us, the temptation to utilize this exciting new technology is great, the opportunities vast, and the options for how to best use it, are equally diverse.

      Augmented reality is a modification of your existing experience through augmentation of any kind. An audio track, sound effect, narrator, etc. A visual 3D object, hologram or interactivity that is only possible through the use of the device that is augmenting the reality.

      Mixed reality is really a hybrid of augmented reality and virtual reality. Prime examples of mixed reality come with the use of headgear like Magic Leap or HoloLens. This is designed to free up the user's hands so that they are more able to interact with the mixed reality experiences. This could be instructions for an engineer on a particular assembly or countless other types of tasks.

      Virtual reality is achieved with headgear and headphones that virtually eliminate the exposure to the outer world and focus the attention of the user into a completely new world. Examples of VR would be a journey underwater on a scuba diving trip or walking through a space station on Mars. 

      The topic of this discussion is using augmented reality in the marketing space, through clearly defined experiences, ensuring a successful adoption by your intended user and allowing that user to develop a deeper affinity towards your brand, organization, team, company or event. Madison Avenue has proven that the brands who convert consumers into fans are the brands with the greatest potential for longevity, and augmented reality is a prime solution.

      Augmented reality is capable of accomplishing many variables for your brand.

      • A spokesperson like a celebrity athlete can walk right out of your package, do a command performance right in the room with you or miniature size atop your table or bar top, and then provide an opportunity to make a purchase. 

      • A contest to promote the sale of an electric bike or motorcycle, car or truck by allowing the consumer to project a life-sized model of the vehicle in front of their residence and putting that image on social media with a specific hashtag i.e. #IWantToWinThisVehicle

      • A digital scrapbook in motion that allows your users to shoot selfies that feature a creative picture frame or augmentation that carries your branded message and promotes you across all social media

      • Larger than life-sized models of your product for consumers to pose with for social media.

      • Models of your product that are so accurate that consumers can walk around and inspect them before purchasing online.

      • Projections of clothing, makeup, eyewear, shoes, accessories onto your body for evaluation

      • Projections of room decor and items for sale into a residence or office for evaluation before purchasing

      • 3D moving, animated, articulated representations of products, systems, experiences for remote sharing in consumer or business applications

      • 3D Menu of a restaurants top dishes. Point your app at a white plate and swipe through AR representations of their top dishes. Food always looks great on the plate of the guests across the aisle from you. See it now on your own plate first.

      • Games of many kinds including treasure hunts which manage and direct traffic across a large spacious area and fills out some of the slower trafficked areas

      • Gift giving creatures bearing digital presents of all kinds

      • Drones or dragons dropping parachuting digital drinks to the fans at stadiums

      • Television commercials that break the fourth wall and engage directly with the audience in creative new ways.

      • The reinvented music video with performers appearing in unique and compelling places.

      • Jam along recordings to be created with fans and their favorite musician

      • A hostess of a clothing line appearing holographically atop care for your product label, and is able to give you the details about how to wear the product to its finest and how to take the best care of the product, as well. 

      The possibilities of the use of Augmented Reality are endless and only limited by your imagination. As AR accelerates into this new era, an understanding of the choices between incurring the costs of making your own augmented reality experience application versus putting your AR experience into an augmented reality network will be one of your core decision points. The other will be how long will your users engage with your experience, and what will you do on an ongoing basis to keep it fresh.

      It is certain to be an exciting space to watch expand. Unlike VR and MR (mixed reality), which both struggle under the weight of a consumer needing to make a significant additional purchase, the AR is experienced for free on your smartphone using their native apps, and the other AR experiences that are surfacing daily.

      Augmented reality experiences may be shot on a green screen in a digital studio, or they may be animated using 3D rigged animated models, or use of 2D animation, or any other similar medium that will work within the augmented space. Any and all of these forms of AR may be used together or separately. These can be paired with countless other technologies more traditional for marketing to make the AR experience transactional, shareable, social and entertaining or informative. Use it to tour a museum and the exhibits come to life. Or to entertain an audience in line at a theme park, if there are eyes with a phone, AR offers more unique solutions than any other canvas for your marketing engagement.

      Allowing your customers to leverage their augmented reality with your marketing becomes the massive success. You can create content that serves for the consumer to come to your physical locations to unlock and engage, so you use it to drive traffic to your location, or you use it to take traffic in your location and spread the word. You may use it to sell, create significant teaching experiences, PR experiences, social experiences, and allow it all to revolve around a transaction plus data acquisition model. 

      AR may appear to be a vogue at first blush, but with the proper ideation, execution and audience engagement, it may become one of the most powerful new tools to have engaged the global audience.

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