Note: Frank Puscher will be our guest in the Clubhouse Session on digital marketing this Tuesday, link here.
For years, augmented reality has been one of the eternal talents in marketing. Sporadically, there are exciting applications, but many more marketers believe that it is an expensive technical gimmick. It is currently worth revising the opinion formed earlier.
Gucci sells shoes via augmented reality on Snapchat.
The marketer should take a moment to consider this sentence. Gucci is a lifestyle brand with a very exclusive target group. You wouldn't expect to find it on Snapchat.
Gucci is a marketing company. Experiments are always allowed, but the Italians professionally evaluate which channel and which technology might be worthwhile.
And Gucci is anything but a hip tech brand. So why augmented reality.
Because 180 million people use augmented reality on Snapchat every day. It's just that simple. Lenses, as Snapchat's filters are called, are accessible with a single swipe. The camera launches instantly and is overlaid with digital content. In the case of Gucci, you replace your own shoe with a Gucci sneaker and right next to it is the button: "Shop now.
The fact is: Augmented Reality is not only in Snapchat today, but also in Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, Google Maps, Google Search and in Android and iOS anyway. And augmented reality works on websites without any additional software.
And there are plenty of examples of how companies can use the technology in a meaningful and entertaining way. Even if it's just to achieve a high number of shares and referrals. For campaigns in the early awareness phase, that's exactly the goal.
And here they are, the examples that could help you revise your own opinion on augmented reality.
1. Augmented reality without any software
The makers of Augmentify from Münster realize AR applications that run directly in the browser with relatively little effort. The user scans a QR code and lands on a landing page with AR applications and all conceivable call-to-actions. One of the Münster-based company's major customers is Mobile.de.
2. Amazon integrates AR into product pages
Read that right: Amazon SEO is getting a new facet. After text, image and video, now comes augmented reality in the Amazon app . For household items, this may be banal. When it comes to interior design or furniture. And there's more. Amazon turns shipped packages into markers for AR.
3. Sony makes a secret about the PS5.
A similar approach as Amazon with the packages is also chosen by Sony for the presentation of the PS5, only the package is virtual. Sony publishes a Snapchat Lens that allows users to place the PS5 on their own living room table and take bragging screenshots of it.
Some other brands have done the same. BMW collected "pictures" of the X2 in 2018 in a wide variety of scenarios, even though the car wasn't even on the market yet.
4. Google brings AR to shopping
Most people are familiar with Google's AR teasers. If not: Google "emperor penguin" on your smartphone and look for the button: "View in 3D".
Google is now bringing the feature to Google Shopping. With Volvo, there is a demo case where the AR view of the Volvo is not only used to look at the object of desire from all directions, but you can even configure it.
5. The AR Challenge from Dr. Oetker
The pizza division of Dr. Oetker came up with a simple idea that is familiar from many other social media campaigns. The brand calls out a contest and people copy it in different ways. What was new about the Dr. Oetker Pizza Challenge was that they combined the challenge call with a Snapchat Lens. The user could virtually place a pizza box on their head. The different pizzas rotated through, like a wheel of fortune, and when they stopped, you had found "your" type of pizza.
The approach shows two things. On the one hand, augmented reality can also be implemented in a fairly rudimentary way if there is a funny idea behind it. The animation of the pizza cartons should hardly have cost more than a three-digit amount. Secondly, it always creates social media buzz when people relate to a theme. And it doesn't matter whether they agree with the automatic assignment or not.
6. Apple scans rooms and people
The Iphone 12 is all about augmented reality. Even before the official launch, there was a lot of AR mystery to be seen, similar to the Playstation 5.
What the Americans then unleashed, however, will definitely move app developers intensively these days. We are talking about the Lidar scanner. This is a 3D scanner that is part of the camera. And it can use objects it detects to map realistic scale in the scan. It knows that a coffee table is 40 cm high, a security guard machine is more like 60.
This allows you to place products in the room, just like at IKEA or Amazon. But you can also, for example, measure a room or an object in a room or a person in a room. That's a real utility application for augmented reality in e-commerce.
7. AR as a design tool
When it comes to augmented reality, people like to pay attention only to the interface with the end customer. Admittedly, this is only half the picture. In the summer, Facebook presented a study on the virtual, mobile workplace that can have as many monitors as you want.
Still in the development stage is a study by Adobe and the University of Toronto. Designers can mark anchor points in a video by simply drawing a line on the touchscreen. If two lines are connected, the tool dynamically shows, for example, what angle exists between the two lines. And the lines move along with the marked object in the video.
8. AR as a business tool
If you've already arrived in B2B, it's worth taking a look at Walmart. The supermarket specialists have converted an entire store to mobile first. And here, too, the focus is not only on customers but also on employees. They can use an AR application to either track down an empty shelf that needs to be restocked, or they can use AR to collect goods that customers have ordered to be picked up.
9. AR is the new normal
Sure, that's not true for everyone, but it's definitely true for industry, and especially so for Germany's small and medium-sized businesses. Corona has made service appointments problematic. But since the machines delivered to customers are supposed to keep running, the entire mechanical engineering industry has been evaluating remote service solutions since February.
At the top of the shortlist, also from US companies, is TeamViewer from Göppingen in Swabia. With Co-Pilot, they have an application in their program that enables "guided" maintenance. The expert at home guides the junior technician on site and can, for example, draw live in his display on the AR glasses.
10. AR is great art
The big inspiration in augmented reality comes from a TED Talk given just before the Corona Crisis erupted. In a very emotional talk, Jon Mar talks about how he marries his passions of painting and technology. He adds a time dimension to paintings that they didn't have before. When viewed through the AR application he also created, his paintings come to life. The painting "The Cove" tells a Chinese parable and in doing so, the viewer witnesses that the painting is actually made up of ten layers. And each layer is a chapter of the story.
The new who "The House" shows a building that is stylistically based on Van Gogh. This building evolves every week. People live there, they have children, the children grow older and so on. Twenty years à 52 paintings Mar has painted and built so that the painting is allowed to grow older with its viewers.