Expert Review : Philippe de Passorio “Augmented Reality technologies enter the world of marketing”

Philippe de Passorio from Total Immersion

photo PDP N&BV2

In a time of current crisis where companies are striving to maintain and develop their market shares, advertisers are challengingly innovative to promote products and services. Marketing departments are battling to create the best event around product launches and to accelerate the consumer buying process. But the question remains on how to respond to such a situation with a true differentiator! Street or viral marketing….so many strategies are deployed and too often scoring low in consumer terms!

The new marketing trend is definitely in innovation and in the search of the “Waow” effect. Within the promotion trade, there is now a well-set tendency to develop on-line promotional activities. Internet is indeed a strategic vehicle due to the size of its audience and to the multiple possibilities it offers: personalization, intuitiveness, interactivity between different channels (such as message reminders in sales outlets….)

Furthermore, taking into consideration the growing development of the networks and the vulgarisation of smartphones or mobile devices, internet is now available everywhere you go. In this context, a wide number of advertisers invest in Web marketing: mailing, behavioural targeting…so far, nothing that amazing! Until now…initiated by some of the most innovative Web agencies, a new trend has emerged: an increasing use of augmented reality technologies.

But first of all, exactly what kind of process is Augmented Reality? It is a system capable of integrating in real time 3D or 2D images, which do not exist in reality, bringing imaginary elements to our view; elements we would not naturally perceive. Augmented Reality therefore designates various methods which allow the superimposition of virtual objects in video streams, with a lifelike result and in real time; leading to multiple applications in a growing number of areas.

Already several trades such as the toy industry, entertainment or distribution and retailing readily use this type of process to launch their new offers or promotional operations.
As an example, Mc Donald’s France recently targeted households using Augmented Reality in a recent promotional campaign around Happy Meal.
Simply printing an image, launching an application and presenting the image in front of a webcam transforms the Happy Meal box in a 3D animation and children can choose a scenario by just pressing a pictogram printed on the document. It is fun and intuitive and an experience accessible even by younger children, one of the main target of this campaign.

Beyond the Web, Augmented Reality is also participating in point-of-sale events and in exhibitions as a new generation of interactive kiosk. Innovative Augmented Reality experiences are here directly brought to clients and visitors. They are thus given the opportunity to virtually manipulate products on offer and to easily gain the proper feel for it. This type of experiences leaves a lasting impact to the consumer and represents an important act of buying leverage.

These examples illustrate in real terms some of the numerous advantages offered by Augmented Reality. As a true technical revolution, it impacts the added value of promotional campaigns and above all has the power to astonish clients and to prompt towards purchasing the product or the service offered.

This technology will for certain be soon available on smartphones, now so popular, for other and complementary purposes. It is therefore possible to develop a multi-target marketing strategy using a choice of appropriate media (PC, Kiosk or mobile phones).

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