Brands such as L'Oréal and Acura are investing in augmented reality to propel their brand experiences forward
Snapchat and Apple are opening up possibilities for experiential branding with augmented reality. Brands such as Acura andL’Oréal are investing in this new technology hoping to propel their brand experience, incorporating AR into their marketing, stores and e-commerce sites.
Recently, Acura set up a race track in El Toro, California and asked four drivers to perform time trials around the course. The drivers all wore augmented reality helmets that overlaid graphics onto the real world to make it look as though they were driving through different environments—including a jungle and a snowstorm—on each lap. Footage from the race was livestreamed on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.
500,000 people tuned in to watch the hour-long broadcast, with a total reach of 3.58 million people after the stream ended. This was Acura’s first campaign with AR technology and will most likely serve to inform broader social and digital campaigns moving forward.
Ahead of the iPhone 8 release later this year, Apple launched its ARkit platform to allow developers and brands to create AR apps. Snapchat has been working closely with brand marketers to design lenses that mimic some of the app’s most used features, such as face-swapping and animal masks.
Facebook and Instagram are also investing in different types of augmented reality. Cosmetics brand Estée Lauder is using a Facebook Messenger bot to power its Lip Artist, which recommends lipstick colors by asking customers to upload a photo of themselves to ‘try on’ the perfect shade in AR. The brand is also looking into doing something similar with foundation makeup.
L’Oréal has a number of AR-powered apps, such as Makeup Geniusand Style My Hair, that let customers apply makeup and hair styles to selfies to try out products virtually. The apps have helped the brand understand what their consumers like, making it a great source of data for future planning.
It is predicted that in the next 12 to 18 months there will be more advancements made in hardware beyond individual phones that will power AR into retail with digital signage and experiences.