The versatility of AR in marketing
Chairman, Pico Group

Augmented reality (AR) technology is maturing and its applications in the marketing industry are becoming more common, leading to a significant rise in its commercial value. Researchers predict that the global AR market’s value will reach US$100 billion by 2024 and leap to US$332.6 billion by 2028. To seize AR marketing opportunities, first take inspiration from its variety of applications.

Marketing strategies can utilise AR technology to help create immersive, interactive experiences that combine virtual and real elements, tailored to brand characteristics. For example, in a celebration event for the ‘Player Unknown Battleground Mobile’ game, Pico targeted Generation Z and millennials by merging digital experiences and AR into a web-based ‘PUBGM 4th Dimension’ interplanetary world game. Players could use their mobile phones to search for AR ‘airdrop’ markers to win prizes and trigger game downloads. The campaign recorded over 20 million impressions, with a total conversion rate landing at 32.3%.

Some competitions and large-scale events integrate AR with art to create visually appealing technological feasts. During the 25th Arabian Gulf Cup opening ceremony activated by Pico, the project team made a visual statement of Iraqi heritage by projecting 3D and AR elements onto the football pitch, complemented by laser and fireworks effects. This not only enhanced the sense of presence but also brought a multi-sensory experience to the audience.

AR also can be applied to retail outlets to attract footfall and enhance consumer desire. Coach installed an AR mirror in the storefront of its flagship store in the United States. The device automatically displays a best-selling Coach bag in the hands of passers-by. Animation technology also enables passers-by to pose with the bags. Within a week of the mirror’s installation, customer traffic increased by nearly 50%, and the number of people watching the window display soared by 93.5%.

AR development continues to make breakthroughs, such as Disney’s ongoing research into non-head-mounted AR. Using computer vision to track visitors’ sightlines, the system projects 3D images in front of their eyes at a corresponding angle, allowing AR visuals to be enjoyed without wearing any device – a blended virtual-real fun experience.

If industry leaders want to stay ahead, they must understand current technology and marketing trends and integrate suitable technology into brand activation in response to audience needs.

The full article was originally published in Headline Finance on 14 August 2023 (in Chinese only).

Source: Headline Finance (webpage version), 14 August 2023