Here's How Augmented Reality Changes Marketing in 2017

When Pokemon Go hit last year, everyone thought it was cool. But the arc seemed really short and the burnout pretty fast. That may be a shortsighted view, but what did happen was that both brands and the general public learned that the smartphone can lead the way in AR (augmented reality) to create new experiences for consumers and users.

Sunoco is using AR to reinvent how marketers activate motor racing fans NASCAR. From the Charoltte Observer in 2016 “Through a recent full-page ad in the Charlotte Observer tied around its ‘Essence of Racing’ campaign from 2016 — specifically how ‘sound’ plays into motorsports — the Official Fuel of NASCAR gave fans an opportunity to bring the newspaper to life as they witnessed various sounds from the racetrack. Sunoco is one of the early brands in sports tapping into the emerging technology.”

China stands to emerge as a leader in AR. Forbes reports that in China, Baidu (the “Google” of China) has built AR experiences into its search app, map service and e-commerce provider Nuomi. Together they reach more than 1 billion monthly active users. Also Baidu worked with Yum! Brands to introduce an AR smartphone game to 300 KFC outlets in Beijing. The game gives customers the chance to win meal discounts by scanning table stickers in those selected restaurants. According to the company, the game was played 400,000 times within its first three days.

AR has applications in retail, fast food, sports and more. Smart brands and agencies are incorporating this exciting technology to increase engagement by creating experience for consumers and fans. They will also realize the treasure trove of data being generated by every single interaction. Time to get on board.

Beverly is the author of the best selling book The Power of Real-Time Social Media Marketing. She also teaches the Global Business of Sports & Entertainment at UCLA Anderson School of Management and is a thought leader in IoT, Big Data and Digital Media trends.

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