Augmented Reality Examples: Use Augmented Reality Marketing in Your Business

At its best, digital marketing offers consumers an unforgettable experience — one that improves brand recognition and forms a connection between the company and the customer. How can you stand out from the crowd as a digital marketer? By paying close attention to emerging trends in technology that can help your business succeed.

Augmented reality (AR) has recently gained traction with digital marketers to merge the physical world with an immersive, accessible digital experience. The result? Content that creates meaningful experiences between the brand and consumer.

Top brands and companies continue to create new and effective augmented reality uses, and this trend isn’t going away anytime soon.

Interested in helping customers experience your brand in an innovative, immersive way? Think about enrolling in a digital marketing bootcamp, which can help you formulate a digital marketing strategy (including AR) using the competitive research, brand building, and customer engagement skills you’ll learn.

Let’s take a closer look at augmented reality, including its potential benefits for your digital marketing strategy.

What Is Augmented Reality?

Augmented reality layers computer-generated components onto your physical surroundings. In simple terms, augmented reality is a digitally enhanced version of the physical world. The augmented reality is achieved through sound, superimposed computer-generated images, and other sensory elements. Consumers access these experiences through augmented reality software by using a compatible mobile device.

Augmented reality is highly interactive, meaning that once a user opens their mobile device, they’re in the driver’s seat of their augmented reality experience. This may mean walking in a physical space to interact with populated content, or responding to options or commands within the augmented reality experience.

Benefits of Augmented Reality in Marketing

Augmented reality is a powerful marketing tool used by many top brands. According to Fortune Business Insights, the AR market is projected to reach $97.76 billion by 2028.

An image that showcases how rapidly the augmented reality market is supposed to grow through 2028.

Here’s a comprehensive list of AR benefits that may be compelling for those interested in becoming a digital marketer. Below, we dive deeper into some ways that AR can help enhance your marketing initiatives.

Seeing and testing a product through augmented reality helps reduce product uncertainty while increasing buyer confidence and sales. For example, sporting goods stores often use AR to help customers test golf clubs before buying, and the software can even provide tips on how to improve their swing.

Decision fatigue can be a barrier to making a purchase for many consumers, especially when their purchase decision hinges solely on reading countless written reviews. Augmented reality experiences can help shoppers determine the best color and fit for the item they’re purchasing by showing them how it would look on a body type similar to theirs. For example, consumers can use AR to try on different pairs of sunglasses or see how a sofa would fit within their home. While it’s all digital, it really does demonstrate a product’s physical allure so a buyer will feel confident in purchasing the item.

One example of this execution is Glasses USA, an online eyewear retailer. Because the brand lacks physical locations to try on products, they’ve developed a platform that allows visitors to see which frames look best on their face.

Augmented reality can also be a valuable tool for venues looking to sell tickets. Choosing seats for a sports event, concert, or play can be difficult, especially if you’ve never been to the venue before. Through AR, people can see the view from their potential seats and decide which option is best from an enjoyment and price perspective.

Augmented reality can also generate excitement and brand buzz that results in added social media exposure for your business. For example, Uber created an AR experience in the Zurich train station where passersby could interact with elephants, kangaroos, and tigers. The surprise and delight was palpable as people interacted and documented the experience on social media.

Pokémon GO is another example of effectively using AR to connect a global audience and encourage users to share information. If users are excited to interact with your AR and share their experience across their social media platforms, it helps your brand gain traction and visibility with other potential consumers.

Interested in learning more about developing a digital marketing strategy that benefits your business? Sign up for a digital marketing bootcamp to take your company to the next level.

Augmented Reality Examples

Now that you know what augmented reality is and how AR can benefit your digital marketing efforts, let’s look at some compelling augmented reality examples executed by real companies. You can also check out our blog to learn more about other digital marketing skills you need to succeed.

An image displaying some of the major corporations currently using augmented reality.

L’Oréal

What happens when a legacy beauty brand teams up with an e-commerce giant? A one-of-a-kind augmented reality experience. L’Oréal’s ModiFace experience paved the way for future augmented reality retail experiences by allowing users not only to preview makeup shades on photos and videos of themselves, but also cultivate a complete look using products available for purchase. Instead of trying on individual lipsticks, eyeshadows, foundations, and more, the app took the guesswork out of which shades would best compliment a user’s skin tone by leveraging the latest in augmented reality technology.

Adidas

Imagine not only being able to preview what a pair of shoes might look like on your feet, but also how they’d appear as you’re walking or running. Adidas made this possible through augmented reality with its iOS app. When the pandemic put a halt to in-store shopping in many places across the U.S., consumers came to rely on this technology to inform their purchasing decisions.

Gucci

Gucci was one of the first luxury brands to allow shoppers to try on a pair of sneakers using AR. This approach proved to be a powerful digital marketing tactic that gave consumers a trial run of the shoe before deciding whether or not to buy the product, which ultimately ended up increasing customer satisfaction and decreasing the number of returns.

With so much of our style and appearance portrayed online today, Gucci recently launched the first-ever, digital-only pair of sneakers that shoppers can purchase for between $9 to $12. Once purchased, the owner can take pictures or videos of themselves in their new kicks and share them via social media (the shoes “appear” via filter). Or, they can use the Gucci app to unlock an in-game, downloadable version of their shoes for their Roblox avatar to wear.

Sephora

Sephora is another powerful example of successfully implementing AR into an effective marketing strategy. Sephora’s in-store experience has always provided shoppers with the option to test each product before buying, going as far as allowing shoppers to take home a small test sample of anything they have in stock before buying a larger product. Online, Sephora’s “Virtual Artist” tool allows shoppers to test out shades of lipstick, blush, foundation, eyeshadow, and more without ever having to leave the comfort of their couch. Users can even share photos of themselves sporting a few different shades of certain products with their social media followers. Not only does this help drive purchase decisions by soliciting comments from followers, but it also gives the brand more visibility as users share the experience organically with others.

Burberry

There are plenty of examples of how retailers have brought the experience of shopping in-store to consumers at home through augmented reality. Allowing shoppers to digitally peruse store offerings can be an effective augmented reality marketing tactic, but Burberry decided to use this marketing technique to bring shoppers back into their stores in a recent execution. The brand launched an in-store AR experience to help announce the launch of the line’s new Olympia bag at Harrods in London. The augmented reality experience allowed customers to watch statues come to life and walk around the store with them. Customers could capture the experience via photos and videos, which were then shareable on social media.

Acura

Augmented reality can also use entertainment to shift consumer perceptions about a particular brand. Take Acura, for example. They recently created an AR racing game that allows smartphone users to test drive their various models, but with a twist. By pitting competitors against one another in several racing scenarios, this augmented reality experience gamifies the Acura test drive experience while attracting social media buzz.

Acura’s goal in employing AR was twofold: first, to give people an exciting experience with their vehicles while many dealerships were in lockdown; and, second, to take this opportunity to reverse the perception that “Acuras are Soccer Mom cars,” not high-performing automobiles like BMWs.

Pepsi Max

Pepsi is a brand known for its experiential marketing stunts, so it’s no surprise to hear they were the company behind one of London’s most talked-about augmented reality experiences. In this execution, people standing within a bus shelter saw images of unbelievable things taking place through the glass in front of them. The digital marketers behind this experience pulled out all the stops. These individuals saw everything from a giant robot shooting lasers down the street to tentacles rising from the sidewalk and capturing commuters within its grasp. The experience was meant to ladder up to the “unbelievable” nature of Pepsi Max.

IKEA

Leveraging augmented reality to help drive purchase consideration for furniture is a no-brainer. IKEA has recently taken things a step further with the all-new IKEA Studio app. By using the latest sensory technology in iPhones (LiDAR sensors), the app allows users to see how a piece of IKEA furniture will look in their space. Consumers can also redesign their entire space using IKEA decor and furnishings, from chairs and tables to rugs and even wall colors.

MACHINE-A

This London-based concept store decided to deliver an augmented reality experience to heal London fashionistas’ heartbreak when London’s fashion week was canceled due to the pandemic. The brand created a virtual boutique that could be accessed through QR codes displayed throughout the city. While shoppers couldn’t make a purchase from this experience, it allowed them to view the latest trends and information featured to drive awareness for MACHINE-A’s emerging designers. This augmented reality tactic successfully drove awareness and engagement for the brand and is a prime example of how brands can create memorable experiences with potential consumers to boost brand favorability and recognition.

Pokémon GO

Perhaps the most vivid, powerful augmented reality example is Niantic’s Pokémon GO. The concept is simple: allow users to catch Pokémon by superimposing images of the creatures within the real world. However, the real genius of the experience is GPS integration — the game detects your location and populates Pokémon for you to catch based on where you live. As a result, some rare Pokémon can only be caught in certain parts of the world. This structure led to Pokémon GO forums and communities to track rare Pokémon, and encouraged trades between users to catch them all. To say this augmented reality game has been a huge success is a vast understatement.

*The included logos for corporations using augmented reality today are trademarks of each respective entity and are included here for informational purposes only.

Augmented Reality Industry Examples

Here are a few examples of how different business models can utilize AR marketing to improve their bottom line.

Restaurants

The next time you find yourself out to eat, take notice of how many patrons have pulled up Yelp on their phones to preview each menu item. As the saying goes, you eat with your eyes first — which is where augmented reality can shine. Giving diners the option of an augmented reality menu can speed up their decision-making on what to order, improve customer satisfaction, and decrease the number of complaints. One example is Menu.AR, which offers customers the option to see their dish in augmented reality before ordering it via app.

Museums

Imagine a museum experience that lives exclusively through augmented reality. Museums can use AR technology to bring exhibits to life. People can walk through a Vincent Van Gogh painting while listening to music, or watch one of Rodin’s sculptures come to life. This not only deepens museum patrons’ experiences of exhibits, but also inspires a love of art in many who have previously found it dull and unengaging.

Salons

A known innovator in the digital marketing space, Amazon used augmented reality to help launch the company’s first brick-and-mortar hair salon, Amazon Salon. The augmented reality app allows in-store shoppers to point at a product and learn more about it, supplying customers with pertinent information through educational videos and promotional content. The augmented reality experience also allows customers to experiment with new hair colors before making a commitment.

Tourism

When deciding where to go and what to do on vacation, being able to experience a destination before you’re physically there is a powerful purchase motivator. On a large scale, tourism boards can use augmented reality for marketing the destination to potential visitors. On a smaller scale, local travel vendors can give visitors a preview of what it’s like to ride a wave runner or set out on a morning fishing excursion with their team. Thinking about a trip to the Grand Canyon? There’s an AR experience that can help you make your decision.

Newspapers

So, you’ve created an augmented reality experience but don’t know where to market it. Using QR codes to reach a local target audience through print advertising is a tactic that benefits both advertisers and publishers. Digital marketers can reach local readers and publishers can deliver an innovative experience to their subscribers. Leveraging the Beyond the Page app, W Magazine offered readers exclusive access to behind the scenes interview footage.

Retail

You’re familiar with how augmented reality can help drive purchase consideration — but this can be taken a step further through experiences delivered via brand packaging. Innovative companies — like Treasury Wine Estates, the vineyard behind 19 Crimes wines — have found ways to surprise and delight customers by hiding an augmented reality experience within their label.

Improve Your Digital Marketing Strategy Today

With the right digital marketing strategy, your brand can use augmented reality to help drive purchases, increase purchase satisfaction, improve brand awareness, decrease returns, and even shift brand perception.

However, knowing how and when to leverage digital marketing tactics like augmented reality is important to succeeding with your target audience. Enroll in Columbia Engineering Digital Marketing Boot Camp to learn essential brand strategy techniques so you can build innovative AR campaigns driving media buzz, sales, and profits.

Reserve your spot in an
upcoming boot camp.

It only takes a minute to request information and receive a full curriculum overview. You will also be put in touch with an admissions representative who can answer questions and get your application started.

Review previously provided information.
* indicates required field.

Not ****@domain.com ?
Share some information to gain exclusive access to our articles.