My Comments On… “Seeing Things Differently: Are Brands Missing the Boat With Augmented Reality”

This has been up on The Drum’s site for over a month but I didn’t see it until now!

The article discusses Augmented Reality for advertising purposes, and asks what is needed for AR to become mainstream. Read the full article on The Drum for more comments from Maarten Lens-FitzGerald, co-founder of Layar, and Lauren Offers, head of Aurasma marketing.

 

AR will be further propelled into the mainstream with the introduction of AR-enabled mobile devices (without the need to install an app). Progress is being made in this area, with Metaio and ST-Ericsson introducing the first augmented– reality chipset in February this year, paving the way to always-on AR. Chip designer ARM is also working with developers to build augmented reality that can track real-world objects such as buildings. Joel Blackmore, senior innovation manager at Somo, believes universal access is crucial to build mass-market scale.

 

“The problem with current AR is that it needs to be fired up in a native app, requiring a download or an open app in order to interact. This places unnecessary barriers for customers to engage in an AR experience, in what is often an impulse situation,” he explains.

 

“For AR to become mainstream and open up all the marketing opportunities it promises, the experience either needs to be fired up within mobile web (thereby negating an app download) or even better, be built into the smartphone and tablet operating system as a standard AR viewer. Once steps are removed from the process through mobile web access, or removed altogether through universal access to an AR engine, we can use mobile to create the link between the physical and digital worlds and augment on a mass-market scale.”

 

 

Tips for AR success: How can advertisers harness what is still a relatively underused medium?

 

“Your experience is only as good as your content. If you are delivering any content through your experience, make it worthwhile. If the user only gets the same trailer they have already seen on YouTube, is this a good experience? Provide exclusives if you can.”
Joel Blackmore, senior innovation manager, Somo

 

 

Mobile Marketing AR is Boring

Currently Augmented Reality (AR) campaigns for mobile are pretty bad. I just watched this video for Starbucks’ new Christmas AR-ready seasonal cups (I know I’m a bit late with this):

Read about what the App does on Mashable.

I get it. There’s an item in an area of high dwell time (although these are takeaway cups) and you have users sitting around playing with their phones. The perfect opportunity to get consumers to interact with your product. However, the end result is always a half-baked attempt at something engaging that you may open once but certainly won’t return to.

I’m yet to see a really effective AR mobile marketing campaign. I’d love to see some if you have examples – @joelblackmore

AR in general has such potential, and will soon be perfected on mobile, it’s just frustrating that all the current campaigns are boring. Watch this old concept video for minor car repair by BMW:

When are we going to see something as genuinely useful and well though through as this in AR mobile marketing?

AR Example – Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows on ShortList

Again ShortList have responsive advertising on their front cover. This time it’s an augmented reality (AR) campaign powered by Zappar. Scanning the cover of ShortList using Zappar brings up an AR layer with the option to view the trailer or play a simple pea and cup game. On completion of the game the user is driven to a mobile optimised site to enter a competition.

Although the AR worked well and the pea and cup game was nice, the campaign could have been improved by a clearer call to action to scan the cover (the CTA was on the back cover only) and having a compelling mobile microsite like the Uncharted 3: Drake’s Deception example.

20111208-191925.jpg Continue reading