Ever since the first marketer included an 800-number or a web URL in an ad or commercial, marketers have dreamed of the possibility of “integrating” or supplementing their messages. The goal was to somehow provide a more in-depth experience for the ad reader/watcher, that hopefully would “close the deal”, or at least help work prospects down the sales funnel. And for more than two decades, we’ve been watching as invitations to “log on” or “follow us on Facebook” have resulted in less-than-outstanding results.
Technologies and consumer patterns that have emerged in recent years have helped feed the hope. Inbound links, social log ins and behaviorally targeted ads have provided an easier path towards integration. But until now, the “killer app” of creating truly rich experiences for prospects has been non-existent.
A few years ago, QR codes seemed to hold some promise (more on those in this blog post), but even these had their limitations. Those ugly little squares were difficult for a lot of smart phone cameras to read, and even then, the user was redirected somewhere online: to a website, product catalogue page or a shopping cart. Rarely could you describe the experience as “richer.”
Now, however, another technology seems poised to truly “enrich” the consumer’s experience: Augmented Reality.
While A.R. has long been used in the video game world, today it is actually a way to “unlock” hidden content using just your smart phone or tablet, without being redirected to an online destination. The great thing about A.R. is there does not seem to be a lot of limitations to where they can be used, or what type of content they can “hide.”
Augmented Reality can be accessed through ads, product labels, brochures and booklets, web sites, on TV, or just about anywhere else you can find content (okay, maybe not radio…yet). And instead of limiting your “hidden content ‘to a web page, you can devlop content that makes the product experience richer. This two-and-a-half minute video review of an A.R. app called Blippar shows you some of the cool things you can program…interactive recipe booklets, videos, games etc.
Augmented Reality content is super easy (some might say intuitive) to access. Like QR codes, you use a smart phone or tablet app to access the hidden content. My prediction: Augmented Reality will be one of the shining stars of 2013.
If you’re interested in creating an Augmented Reality program, or are interested in learning more about it, please feel free to drop us a line.
Posted by Mickey