Augmented reality (AR) is an emerging technology that fuses digital elements with the real world. It enables users to interact with virtual objects and information within their physical environment, allowing them to manipulate and explore digital content in an immersive way.
More and more brands are experimenting with AR. For the 2022 Christmas season UK retailer Argos created a virtual Christmas dinner setting using AR to showcase its kitchenware — a great way to drive awareness for a rather generic product category.
AR uses computer-generated images to overlay them onto the real world. This can be done through the use of dedicated hardware devices such as smart glasses or head-mounted displays (HMDs) as well as more common technologies like smartphones or tablets.
Unlike Virtual Reality (VR), which completely immerses a user in a simulated environment, AR supplements existing reality by augmenting it with contextual, digital information.
AR has become increasingly popular in recent years due to its ability to make experiences more engaging. It has been used widely in theme park rides and is now being used to enhance retail experiences and advertising. By breaking down barriers between physical and digital interaction, it helps reduce cognitive load by combining visual cues with contextual information; this increases engagement levels and allows users to form stronger connections with media content.
Just like Argos, many retail brands are turning to AR as a marketing tool and are creating AR infused activities to engage customers and build stronger relationships with their brands.
With AR, marketers can create immersive, interactive experiences that help them stand out from the crowd and keep audiences hooked for longer periods of time.
The UK neuromarketing and neuroanalytics research house Neuro-Insight has conducted a user study using Steady State Topography (SST) brain-imaging technology to measure how the human brain responds to different types of stimulus and to AR stimuli in particular. You can find the entire study here. The main takeaways are:
- AR drives high levels of visual attention (based on the study the activity level was almost twice as high as compared to non-AR stimuli)
- As AR is still a nascent technology it triggered a ‘surprise’ reaction in the brain
- AR driven experiences are more impactful and our brain retains up to 70% more information when AR is used
According to research conducted by Facebook parent company Meta, AR can significantly improve campaign performance. An analysis of the Facebook ads of 10 brands determined that campaigns incorporating AR ads in always-on campaigns delivered nearly three times more brand lift than those without. Even better, these results were achieved with better cost efficiency: The AR powered campaigns had a 59% lower cost for increasing awareness compared to their traditional counterparts. Other research indicates that, compared to standard videos, user dwell is up to 2-3 times longer for augmented reality ads.
Get in touch with us to learn how your brand can leverage 3D product modeling not only in catalogues, on your website, but also in AR ads.