Many are waiting to see whether virtual reality takes off as a viable entertainment media. It’s done well so far, but it’s limited to what you can do in a safe, contained living room – otherwise people would be chasing virtual zombies into the streets. There is an effective technology that’s already changed reality and launched successful marketing campaigns: augmented reality.
Forms of Augmented Reality Advertising
Augmented reality uses what’s real as a base to make a fantastical change. For instance, BMW recently ran a campaign in New York. They used digital signage displays at bus stops to show a life feed “reflection” of the traffic that was passing by – except on the digital displays, every car was visually converted into a BMW concept car. It suggested a future New York where everyone drives BMWs (but still suffers from pizza that isn’t as good as Chicago’s).
Simpler forms allow users to change the environment with preset stickers, or put together puzzles formed from live feeds. These are ways of engaging customers through augmented reality. This kind of interactivity lets customers take control of an element of your advertising.
Consider playing a hidden object game. You can hide an object in a live image and ask the customer to find it. Or you can hide multiple objects and ask them to find a certain number of differences between reality and the digital portrayal. If they succeed, you can reward them with a discount, a special, a coupon, or whatever else is appropriate.
You’re no longer inviting them or coaxing them into your store. Now, you’re rewarding them for their engagement with you. This makes customers feel better about future engagement. It’s perceived in a fundamentally different way.
You’re not convincing a wary customer why why they should give you their business. You’re using digital signage and augmented reality to make customers feel like engaging with your business is rewarding. Utilize digital signage and augmented reality to help form and build relationships with customers.