Companies spend billions each year on advertising. The budget for Rich Media advertising is even higher. In the US alone, it currently amounts to $12.4Bn but with a prediction of an increase up to $16.3Bn a few years down the road! If you want to remain relevant and unaffected by an almost 40% morale drop among advertising professionals, then new ways of advertising must be found. Banner advertising currently has an average click-through-rate of 0.13%.
So, what needs to change? Well, consider the new Augmented Reality (AR) integration for the 2017 Jigsaw movie. It has been designed to provide players with an interactive experience as they try to figure out how to keep meeting an untimely death. It is as if the viewers can step into the movie and become a part of it themselves.
What could such technology mean for banner ads? Try to imagine connecting with your customers, and you will see where the world of advertising is headed next! Augmented Reality or AR for short can help you reach out to consumers in an entirely new way. Unsure if it is the right step for your company? Then take out some time to look at the benefits it offers:
So far, digital advertising has relied on advanced machine learning algorithms to reach its target audience. Those algorithms suggest products and services to the consumers based on their purchase history and interests. With augmented reality banner ads, an advertiser would have the opportunity for improved hyperlocal advertising.
For instance, instead of letting a customer know about a café on so and so street, the immersive AR hyperlocal ads will take them to that café right through their smartphone screen! The outcome is that the customers know about the café because they have ‘been’ there. AR could help businesses and brands reach new customers.
Note: You may also enjoy reading ‘7 brilliant augmented reality projects that don’t involve ‘Pokémon GO’.’
A banner ad can boost its power of connecting with a customer on an emotional level via augmented reality. AR is immersive and an effective way to strike up an emotional connection with customers. Your customers won’t just see your banner ad but also be able to interact with it.
Finding it hard to visualise how that could be true? Then picture this, you want to market your newly released movie. The billboard displaying its release date is eye-catching, but something is missing. Throw AR into the mix and passers-by can watch its trailers by simply pointing their smartphones at the billboard. Which of the two interactions would you prefer had you been the target audience?
Building an emotional connection does much more than making people feel as if they are inside a video game. It encourages them to purchase your product. At the very least, it will increase brand awareness through a positive association. Aside from the apparent advantages of being suitable for your sales pipeline template or promoting sales, AR banner ads can help you build a reputation for your company.
Enhancing User Journeys
Augmented reality isn’t just about giving your consumers a fun experience because that won’t be enough for you to succeed. In fact, you might even lose consumers who perceive such ads as being too gimmicky to be of use. According to the Harvard Business Review, the smart way of using AR for commercial purposes is in a way that it enhances the customer experience.
A 3D animation popping out after a smartphone scans your product will be attractive initially. However, consumer interest is likely to wane after a few successive scans. You can use AR to make banner ads that are fun but useful, make consumers’ lives simpler in some way, and are meaningful.
For instance, a wildlife conservation ad that lets you step into an endangered species’ environment becomes highly effective, if it allows you to donate to its cause. Consumers feel good about having done something to conserve biodiversity and have fun.
An excellent example of such an ad was when Ben & Jerry’s used AR to educate their customers. The customer could learn more about how the brand only used locally sourced ingredients while connecting with it. However, if you are to provide something meaningful to your target audience, then you’d need to know what they value.
That means finding as much as you can about your customers to offer them an enhanced, deeply personal user journey. It is that kind of approach that could help you get ahead of the curve rather than riding the new wave.
Note: You may also enjoy reading ‘The fundamentals of VR and AR for events (A guide).’
Future implications and creative ideas
While the AR technology is here to stay, it is still too early for advertisers to realise its full potential. Some ways are more likely to make an impact on consumers than others. Consider the following:
- Take your product to its user, instead of the other way around. Create ads that augment character models and 3D objects in the user’s surroundings. Make sure you offer value for the time they spend interacting with your ad.
- The highly popular 360-degree gyroscope can allow users to step in and experience the product/service you are selling. It can be used to conduct tours, such as viewing the insides of a car or visiting a hotel room, etc.
- Accessories, such as glasses and scarves, can be “tried on” by users before they purchase due to face-tracking technology. If they know they look good in something; your consumers would be more likely to buy it or splurge on something expensive.
It is time not just for advertising to get creative but also get your point across. If you can impart sufficient information to your consumers, the chances of their clicking through and purchasing your product would be much higher. Happy consumers mean that your advertising is working! Augmented reality banner ads are a new kind of immersive media. They encourage consumers not just to step into the products’ environment but to visualise the product in their surroundings.
Mass experiences with minimal intrusions and highly personalized advertising are the only way of going forward. Refigure out your digital marketing strategy to be a part of this new landscape because it leads to ads that are genuinely entertaining, meaningful, and educating!
Text: Erica Silva
Erica Silva is a blogger who loves to discover and explore the world around her. She writes on everything from marketing to technology, science and brain health. She enjoys sharing her discoveries and experiences with readers and believes her blogs can make the world a better place. Find her on Twitter: @ericadsilva1
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