The future of advertising is here! Augmented reality (AR) is a growing trend for brands in the advertising world.The placement and user experience of these advertisements plays an important role in their path to success. Though some 3D projections are viewable with the naked eye, AR primarily targets anyone with smartphones and apps necessary to view the AR technology. Using this technology, AR is able to alter the way people interact with brands.

Do people find it easy or time-consuming to enjoy the entertainment of AR advertisements? As with any new technology, the user experience can be poor for AR design and this is a concern we must consider when analyzing it’s potential to monetize. At what point do consumers give up and say “forget it” when having to download apps and play games that don’t necessarily generate a valuable experience for themselves or a lead for brands? On the other hand, AR is in the digital world, which means the potential for many social shares and organic consumer content is created, boosting its marketing potential when a strong interaction exists.

According to CNET (CBS Interactive Inc.), the military and medical sectors have already been early adopters of AR technology, but early innovations are emerging in the general market and many advertisers are experimenting with AR and its enticing technology.

Let’s take a peek at 4 brands that are already adopting this futuristic technology into their marketing campaigns in unique ways.

Pepsi Max decided to have a little fun with its brand. Pepsi Max built an AR bus shelter ad in London. Though Pepsi won’t give us the secrets on how it creates its illusions, this augmented reality ad seamlessly gives people a second look, and sometimes a fright. From aliens to snakes and monsters, Pepsi Max creates a little fun in how they are approaching their branding strategy without having users to complete any tasks with apps or devices. In viewing the looks of excitement that people get by looking and playing with the camera, it appears that Pepsi did it right!

IKEA allows you to place virtual furniture in your home with its AR app. They found a way to make this app both useful and entertaining while interacting with the product directly.

The automotive industry is reinventing itself with AR advertising. In this example, Hyundai created a mind-blowing AR campaign in 2011 with it’s 3D projection that shocked its audience. The brand blew this campaign experience out of the water by attaching a fully functional car to the wall of a building and having a driver walk down the side of the building and get in the vehicle. The 3D projection took it from there.

Band Aid Magic Vision featuring The Muppets. This AR app was a 2013 Webby winner for Augmented Reality. Band Aid claims that they want to “entertain away the pain” as kids believe Band Aids are magical in themselves. Both parents and kids can find this app very useful in their daily lives.


Also published on Medium.