As explored in our recent social trends piece, the past year has seen augmented reality (AR) go from gimmicky emerging technology to full-blown marketing revolution. From the pioneers at Snap trying to claw back some of Instagram’s market share to launches across Google, Amazon and Facebook, everyone is scrabbling to gain control of this newly lucrative space. Why?

AR seamlessly intertwines sensory information and the natural environment, showing the viewer an augmented version of their world or themselves. Perfect for product launches, or as part of a wider campaign, AR also gives brands the opportunity to jump on seasonal and calendar events, creating attractive, entertaining content that audiences love to share. In 2019, think:

  • Chinese New Year
  • Valentine’s Day
  • St. Patrick’s Day
  • Easter
  • Mother’s Day
  • Game of Thrones
  • Glastonbury
  • Father’s Day
  • Stranger Things 3
  • Summer holidays
  • The Rugby World Cup
  • Diwali
  • Halloween
  • Bonfire Night
  • Christmas

Anywhere there’s a conversation happening on social, there’s the chance to do something unique and creative with AR.

33 per cent of UK consumers believe AR experiences help them narrow down choices when shopping.

What exactly is it that makes AR so effective? It’s fun, visual and easy to use – but it’s also more than that.

Our creative director George Guildford believes the effectiveness of AR as a marketing tool comes down to its unique blend of novelty, interactivity and practical, real-world applications:

“AR isn’t the next big thing – it’s huge right now. The mass adoption we’re seeing marks a departure from a social audience passively consuming marketing messages, to actively participating in brand stories. In the past year we’ve been working with some great brands, creating bespoke experiences and helping them offer product demos and trials without the consumer having to physically enter a store. In the meantime, we collect data and use it to refine the experience for next time around. This is the real beauty of AR – it’s fun, but it also serves a mutually-beneficial purpose for the brand and the consumer.”

About to get real

AR is expected to overshadow traditional content this year. As 5G gets going and the experience economy goes from strength to strength, immersive ads are something we are only going to see more of. With trigger points hidden around venues, AR glasses in development and ‘tap-to-try’ ads rolling out across social, the technology is presenting marketers with limitless opportunities to engage audiences with fresh, entertaining, useful content.

We are a visual species. For this reason, taking campaigns to the next level and gaining real traction in the space relies on creating ever more slick and photo-realistic visuals. In 2018, we worked with some huge brands including Benefit and River Island, creating custom AR experiences to help them position their campaigns, grab audience attention on social, and bring their product launches to living, breathing life. The results?

Filter is coming…

The beginning of the year is an exciting time in marketing, as we all work to plan our calendars and campaigns for the year ahead.

Our dedicated AR studio have already got some exciting projects lined up, as well as a few Punch projects we’re planning around key events including Valentine’s Day, Halloween and the final series of Game of Thrones.  

If you don’t have any product launches coming up, creating a reactive or seasonal AR Effect around an event or holiday is a great way to get people talking about your brand. Last summer, we created our own filter to capture the vibe during the World Cup.

With a little creativity, any brand or product can shine with AR. We want to work with brands looking to get in on the ground floor; those keen to surprise and delight audiences, grow their social following and inspire potential customers to take action.

Whether you want a standalone AR Effect or to create something special as part of a wider campaign, our expert team of  designers are able to turn around bespoke AR Effects in next to no time.

Looking to supercharge your campaigns for 2019? Get in touch with us here.