In this landscape of ever-changing technologies, there are two new standouts with vast implications for marketing: Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR). Both AR and VR are unique ways to pull customers in, with diverse, authentic, and emotionally engaging applications. Let’s discuss the many ways in which AR and VR contribute to the evolution of marketing.
What is the difference between AR and VR?
While AR and VR content both accomplish similar results through different means, they are not the same. AR superimposes an image onto a real-world background via a camera lens, whereas VR uses a headset to create a three-dimensional virtual world. AR is 25% virtual, while VR is 75% virtual, which means they have different applications. For example, AR is commonly used for things like online shopping and VR is used for tourism and real estate.
What are the real-world applications of AR?
Now that we have discussed the differences, let’s talk about the ways that we can use AR. Earlier it was mentioned that AR is often used in online shopping, and this is very true. With applications such as Warby Parker’s virtual try-on to Ikea’s furniture placement app, the possibilities of this kind of technology seem endless. In a study conducted by the Harvard Business Review, it was found that customers who used AR spent 20.7% more time on the app, and the chance that they would purchase something was 19.8% higher than customers who did not use AR. Essentially, AR is a fantastic tool for selling a product. But there are other applications for AR as well, such as sponsored Snapchat filters that use AR technology to overlay an image onto one’s face. For example, one filter from Taco Bell made up to 224 million views in one day. Ultimately, there are many dynamic ways to utilize AR content to suit your needs.
What about VR?
You’re probably wondering, “If AR can do all that, what do I need VR for?” Well, let us explain. Back in 2016, a study found that 6 in 10 people surveyed thought VR was just for gaming, but nowadays more and more people are realizing its potential for advertisement. VR is a very useful tool because it creates a virtual environment that takes you out of the physical world, as opposed to just adding a virtual element. It is often used for tours, such as this tour of the Louvre. But VR content has other applications in advertising. Coca-Cola created a Christmas VR experience in Germany where you could explore the North Pole by putting on a VR headset. The immersive world created an emotional and engaging experience with customers that they will forever associate with the brand. While the downside of VR is that you need a headset, there are affordable options such as Google Cardboard that are making VR a more accessible experience for all to enjoy.
With all this said, AR and VR are most definitely the future of advertising. Using this type of content will set you apart from your competitors in an extraordinary way. With AR’s cost being estimated as being between $50,000 and $200,000 depending on the complexity of the project, and VR estimated to cost up to $500,000, it can be incredibly expensive to implement. But with the evolution of technologies such as Google Glass, your method of marketing must evolve as well. AR and VR both offer immersive experiences that help to humanize your company and, thusly, increase brand loyalty. That is nothing to sneeze at.