Mobile marketing with augmented reality? Tips, tricks and ideas!

When it comes to the latest trends in online marketing, augmented Reality should not be missing. Since the great success of Pokémon Go in summer 2016, many marketers have the technology on their watchlist. Still, often ideas and concrete use cases were missing to implement their AR projects. With seven use cases for mobile marketing with augmented Reality, I would like to provide you with initial inspiration that makes you want to use innovative technologies in marketing.

With GoogleAR, brands can present their products as a 3D model in the search results.

Augmented Reality? What is that?

In contrast to Virtual Reality, where users can fully immerse themselves in the virtual world with VR glasses, with augmented Reality the real world is preserved, and digital elements are added. We need suitable technical aids for this: Google Glass, Microsoft Hololens, and Magic Leap are the first AR glasses for this purpose. However, the models are still far from the mass market and are currently used in various industrial solutions. Due to their short reach, they are presently hardly relevant for marketing. So does that mean we have to wait a few more years for AR marketing?

No, we don’t have to. Fortunately, augmented Reality can also be experienced with a smartphone or tablet, so that AR marketing measures currently take place primarily in the field of mobile marketing. AR software extends the smartphone or tablet camera image with 3D-registered and, in the best case, real-time interactive elements, which results in exciting application possibilities. I want to use the following seven use cases to demonstrate how Augmented Reality can be used to achieve marketing goals:

Awaken the desire to travel with augmented Reality

To encourage long-distance travel, Lufthansa used the AR function of the Shazam app as part of a price campaign. The so-called walk-in ads open virtual portals with which travel destinations can be experienced virtually. To do this, users have to click on an advertisement within Shazam, and without an additional app download, they end up in the augmented reality experience. For this purpose, a virtual gate appears on the smartphone display, if you walk through it with your cell phone in your hand, you will find yourself on a virtual viewing platform in New York and can view it from a 360-degree perspective. Atmospheric sound effects support the visual experience.

Lufthansa is sure to attract the attention of users with this unusual advertising medium, as the AR-Ad stands out from the pool of known ad formats, especially since so far, only a few consumers have contacted AR advertising. The extent to which the AR application is suitable for converting users to book flights has remained unanswered.

Shop virtually with an AR app

Augmented Reality also has an increasing right to exist in e-commerce. AR can help, especially when it comes to products where photos and videos are not enough to adequately represent them. This is how OTTO makes it possible with the AR app yourhome To try out pieces of furniture digitally in your own home. Using the smartphone camera, the app calculates the room dimensions about the product, so that the two-dimensional camera image creates a true-to-scale, three-dimensional space for furnishing. Buyers can then place the desired objects in it to check proportions, try out different setting options, or assess whether the new floor lamp fits so well in the planned living room corner or not. Amazon also enables a comparable user experience with the Amazon AR View Home app and offers furniture, electronic products, household appliances, and toys as 3D objects that can be placed virtually in your own home:

Augmented Reality in Google search results

Since the announcement by Google manager Aparna Chennapragada at the I / O developer conference in May 2019, we have known that the search engine is using augmented Reality in the search results pages (SERPs). Various brands have already created the first use cases of the new AR function as part of mobile marketing. For example, if you search for the SUV model “XT6” from the Cadillac car brand on your smartphone, Google offers the option “view in 3D” and the car can be virtually parked in front of your garage entrance and can be viewed in three dimensions from all sides. This allows brands to emotionally bind potential buyers to the product at an early stage by integrating it directly into their own consumer lives.

To use Google’sGoogle’s AR feature, 3D models of your products must be uploaded, and you can find them by adding a code snippet. The algorithm of the company currently decides whether the 3D model then makes it into the search results or not.

Screenshot of GoogleAR in the SERPs

Fire free for AR couponing

Burger King launched a creative attempt in augmented Reality last year in Brazil. Burger King equipped its app with an AR feature for the “Burn that Ad” AR campaign. If users aimed the front camera in their smartphone at the logo of the competition, it went up in flames. As a reward for a virtually flared McDonalds billboard, there was then a voucher code for a free Whopper burger the next time you went to the restaurant. The campaign aimed to publicize the new payment method by smartphone in Brazil.

Virtual try-on with augmented Reality

While Facebook and Instagram have already integrated augmented Reality into their platforms, YouTube is now also testing with “Virtual Try-on.” The cosmetic brand L’OrealL’Oreal is currently one of the guinea pigs of the new function and offers customers the opportunity to see a tutorial in the upper part of a split-screen, while they can virtually try out the lipsticks themselves in the lower half of the screen.

Since buying ModiFace, which specializes in AR and AI, L’OrealL’Oreal had increasingly been using virtual try-on in 2018. With augmented Reality, L’OrealL’Oreal customers can try out different makeup and hair colors on themselves, for example. In addition to successful product advice, the goal of AR deployment is to increase brand loyalty and awareness, by merely sharing the virtual try-on via social media. The app is not only available for users at home but also on tablets on-site in stores to lower the inhibition threshold for downloading the app.

AR filter in social media

AR filters are becoming increasingly popular in social media marketing. Snapchat was a pioneer here for a long time, but Facebook is closely following. AR filters can create funny and surprising effects in selfies and expand photos with products, film, or advertising characters. The key to your AR filters is called Spark AR, a software developed by Facebook that is easy to understand even for laypeople and beginners. Netflix provided an example of augmented reality marketing with AR filters at the start of the second season of Stranger Things :

The entertainment factor of AR filters is significant and leads to the fact that users actively interact with the advertising and, in the best case, disseminate the results. In combination with influencer marketing, AR filters can become a real awareness magnet. Influencers can use the filters created by the brands to draw attention to the product, service, or event in question.

Find the right size with augmented Reality

The DHL Packset app offers a practical AR application that helps customers find the right package size. Everyone has probably faced the question of whether the “S” size is sufficient or should be sent as an “M” package. Augmented Reality can now help by scanning the object that they want to communicate with their camera: The AR function shows the different package sizes so that it is easy to see whether it is too small. The object would protrude, for example. Once the correct package size has been found, the shipping label can be booked directly on the go, and the order can be completed in an e-branch of Deutsche Post.

Nike offers a similar AR application and measures the user’s feet to suggest the correct shoe size. Augmented Reality is particularly convincing in that it makes the buying experience even easier for the customer.

Conclusion: a good time for augmented reality marketing

Currently, more and more brands are starting to try out augmented reality marketing, because the timing is perfect: On the one hand, the creation of AR content is becoming more relaxed and more comfortable, so simple AR applications can already use common assets such as text, images, and videos generated, but they unfold their full effectiveness with 3D models. This makes the technology attractive not only for consumers but also for industrial goods marketing since suitable data is already available in many cases.

The decisive factor for marketing success, however, is above all the increasing distribution and improved usability: Where previously an app download was necessary, there are now more and more options for browser-based AR measures that can be integrated directly into social media, for example. Here, brands can currently particularly benefit from the novelty of the technology, since consumers have not yet had enough of the new format. Another advantage is the activating effect of Augmented Reality, which offers users the opportunity to deal intensively with the AR application instead of passive consumption. So technology provides a lot of creative potentials to reach users in new ways.