Updated: Feb 9
The goal of advertising is to lead people to your products and services. The goal of augmented reality (AR) wayfinding is to lead people to their destinations. Combining the two leads to ARdvertising, the latest - and greatest - new tool for reaching people. ARway has been leading the way with advanced augmented reality tools that revolutionize wayfinding and advertising!
While advertising has existed in one form or another for centuries (millennia even, according to some), it became a practice and profession only in the nineteenth century. Since then, advertising has become the engagement engine for businesses, large and small. Advertising has always been about taking advantage of new media types and channels, new trends, and new technologies. We’re at a fresh inflection point now, where advertising can finally be freed of its biggest challenge: outdated advertising methods that numb consumers to advertising messages.
Ads of the past assumed people were coming to them - in print, on radio and television, online, etc. Publisher content served as a proxy for the audience. Advertisers worked hard to create ads that would fit well with the content and likely to attract customer attention and interest. Over the years, all kinds of tools and technologies have been used to make that happen, everything from the overhyped subliminal advertising in the 1950s to the relentlessly targeted advertising we all face today.
This Space for Rent
One of the biggest and most persistent limitations advertisers have faced has been the amount of space or inventory in which to place ads. In the world of fixed media - print, broadcast, and outdoor - the opportunities were limited. There are only so many 30-second advertisements that can run in a 30-minute program block.
Online advertising seemed to free advertisers of this constraint, and new kinds of advertising appeared. Banners, interstitials, news feeds, and sponsored content all come to mind. These benefited from an unprecedented volume of customer data and an unbelievable ability to micro-target advertising to very narrow audiences.
What Do Consumers Think of Heavy-Handed Advertising?
As promising and powerful as this model has been, it has resulted in a consumer backlash. Concerns over privacy, the creepiness of being followed around websites and apps by advertisers, and sheer “banner fatigue” have made even the plump goose of online advertising stop laying its precious golden eggs.
Now is the time for advertisers to think more creatively to go beyond the spot or banner. The next generation of advertising needs won’t be limited to the page or the screen. The very air around us is the next frontier for creating meaningful brand experiences, and augmented reality will be a key to that future.
Writing for PointIndustria in 2021, Yura Velichko, wrote, “Using AR for advertising is a legit move for marketers who want to create more engaging ads, build an emotional connection with customers, and yield higher conversion rates for businesses.” That is certainly true, and some big advertisers have gotten the memo!
Can Augmented Reality Make Advertising Awesome?
In its 2019 campaign, “Burn this Ad,” which ran in Brazil, Burger King invited customers to “burn” advertising by McDonald’s and other competitors in exchange for a free Whopper through the power of AR. Don’t worry, though, the flames were virtual. People could point their phones at a competitor’s advertisement and watch in amazement as flames “burned” it away to reveal a tasty BK ad in its place! The clever campaign not only generated sales and impressions but also netted the company a coveted Cannes Lions award.
In 2014, Pepsi created awareness for Pepsi Max - and mayhem in London - by installing an incredible AR advertising experience at a bus shelter. Through the magic of augmented reality, robots, monsters, UFOs, and other amazing sights were seen by shocked (and ultimately amused) travellers!
Are There Perfect Placements for Augmented Reality Advertising?
Increasingly, augmented reality is being used to enhance wayfinding and make people’s paths through events, expos, and exhibits a lot smoother than using static maps or apps. AR wayfinding from ARway is finding its way into medical centers, colleges and universities, museums, retail outlets, and more.
As with actual real estate, virtual location is everything. Not only does AR wayfinding improve the navigation experience, but it opens the door to the types of advertising experiences that surprise and delight consumers. The ability to serve location-based AR advertisements has resulted in completely new ways to engage consumers on the go.
When it comes to these next-gen AR advertising capabilities, ARway is leading the way with some amazing activations.
Who wouldn’t want to shop in this ARdvertising-enhanced store of the future?
Augmented reality-powered advertising can improve conversions, create deeper and more meaningful engagement, forge closer relationships with consumers, help drive sales, and expand reach. This last point is particularly important for brands hoping to reach Gen Z-ers, for whom novelty and new experiences are key.
ARway, Leading the Way
ARway makes it simple to create these meaningful and memorable experiences using advanced augmented reality. Your customers simply scan a visual marker or a QR code, and the world around them leaps to life. Not only is their path forward highlighted in a simple-to-follow manner, but advertisements and promotional coupons can swoop in from any direction. This creates a strong and memorable impression on consumers and results in downstream impact for brands!
Whether at a shopping mall, a sports stadium, a trade show, or a transit hub, the combination of AR wayfinding and advertisements can go a long way. Not only to help people find their way but also to help them find their way to your products and services.
If you’re ready to take the next step in advertising (or should we say ARdvertising!) ARway can show you the way. Contact us here for more details and information.