Augmented reality: another dimension for the brand message.
When technological innovation bridges the gap between real and virtual.
What is augmented reality?
Imagine a mirror that allows you to try on clothes without putting them on, or a smartphone application that displays information in real time in our environment. All these innovations are made possible by augmented reality, a constantly advancing technology that is overturning communication trends.
In recent years, virtuality has often been seen as the enemy of reality. Our society is always more open to the world, but paradoxically locks itself in the virtual from which it is sometimes difficult to escape.
Augmented reality intends to reconcile the physical and the virtual. How? ‘Or’ What ? By transposing all the advantages of digital – simplicity, speed and connectivity of information – into reality.
Thanks to this technology, a brand will be able to physically integrate the daily lives of its consumers.
"Real reality is always unrealistic." Franz Kafka
How it works ?
Augmented reality is positioned as the border between real and virtual. In order to integrate digital production into the physical world, it creates attachment points in it. GPS coordinates, a smartphoneâ€™s accelerometer or an identifiable visual can be used to anchor virtual content in the real world.
Seeing it as a way to take a step closer to “the augmented human”, Google had tried a few years ago to revolutionize our daily lives with Google Glass, but the expected success was not there. The interface, too minimalist, lacked ambition and only allowed to display the bare minimum in a corner of his fields of vision. Augmented reality was not exactly that, and the useless gadget ($ 1,500 anyway).
Today it is through the camera and the screen of smartphones and tablets that AR is becoming more popular. They offer the advantage of a democratized support to which everyone has access. Indeed, applications, aided by the gyroscope, by GPS, make it possible to display an object or information on the real image. The smartphone is the most effective support when it comes to massively broadcasting an augmented reality campaign.
Research on virtual reality opens new horizons for augmented reality. Microsoft’s HoloLens even talks about mixed reality that uses a helmet with visor to broadcast content in our real space: sorts of google glass swollen with digital hormones. However, not everyone is equipped with it yet. The company promises it for 2017. This technology is however ideal for targeted virtual reality uses, during a street-marketing campaign or a demonstration in store for example.
Why communicate through augmented reality?
Augmented reality makes it possible to establish a unique exchange with the user. By creating a unique experience, the brand develops an intimate bond with the user. For example when she offers to display one of her products in her living room.
The experience created by augmented reality facilitates the transmission of a message. It captures the attention of the person living the experience: It is still a technology perceived as innovative, experimental with an effect that always impresses. It only remains to know what to climb, what to say.
For this, augmented reality offers new creative opportunities. The confrontation of the physical and virtual world opens the door to an infinity of possibilities, an ideal opportunity for the brand to put forward its know-how and its imagination.
3 good reasons to use augmented reality:
- Practical: Augmented reality merges with the user’s environment. To do this, the experience must be as simple and intuitive as possible.
- Playful: Inform while entertaining. This new technology breaks the codes and opens up many creative possibilities. Letâ€™s surprise ourselves to surprise users.
- Unique: Offer a real-time experience that analyzes the environment in which it operates. Each user will have a different and privileged contact with the brand.
Concrete applications of augmented reality:
Pepsi Max makes the daily life of Londoners incredible.
The British subsidiary of the famous soft drink has set up a bus stop adapted to augmented reality. Transparent in appearance, the bus shelter window invites the extraordinary into the streets of London and transforms the daily life of passers-by into a Hollywood blockbuster.
Ikéa materializes its products in the living room of its consumers.
When it comes to interior design, it’s not always easy to imagine how a new piece of furniture would fit into a room. The furniture giant understands this. The IKEA 2014 catalog can be scanned by a smartphone in order to project its products in real size in the accommodation of its customers.
InkHunter, the app to try on tattoos.
Thanks to InkHunter, augmented reality allows you to simulate tattoos in an ultra-realistic way using your smartphone. A powerful idea that allows the user to test a pattern before committing to life.
The Avem case by Sweet Punk.
The Avem group called on Sweet Punk to support its change of identity. To highlight his expertise and his taste for innovation, the specialist in electronic banking and banking IT wanted to share an unprecedented experience with his collaborators.
The Sweet Punk team has developed a digital strategy around the three key values of the brand – commitment, evolution and expertise – in the form of augmented reality teasing.
This tool seemed perfectly suited to the identity of the group. Augmented reality illustrates technological innovation, but also the capacity for adaptation, evolution and proximity to the user.
Tutorial flyers were distributed to all employees, indicating the procedure to follow to start the experience. By scanning these files with a smartphone, a 3D animation produced by us came to life before the eyes of the users.
This teasing phase was divided into three stages, each illustrating one of the brand’s values with a new animation. Put together, these three experiments revealed the graphic evolution of the Avem group.
At the end of the animation, the user accesses a mobile interface of the group developed by Sweet Punk. He discovers more information on this animation and is invited to give his opinion on this experience, an interaction which strengthens the proximity with the collaborators desired by the brand.
An innovation at the height of its success.
This augmented reality advertising campaign targeted 1,250 employees of the Avem group. In total, the experience was repeated 2,500 times and the new website registered 1,152 unique visitors, more than 92% of employees. A great success for this strategy at the forefront of innovation.