On the news that earthquake damaged prefectures of Japan have teamed up with developers Niantic in a bid to use Pokémon Go to regenerate the area, it’s clear the augmented reality app has a great deal of potential in driving consumer experiences. Here’s the low-down on how and why augmented reality could be implemented by brands in the not-so-distant future.
In case you’ve been living in a cave on Mars with your fingers in your ears for the past couple of months, augmented reality games (ARGs) are very much in the limelight. Pokémon Go has taken the world by storm, quickly surpassing the number of users on Tinder and Snapchat. The app is blazing a trail in capturing people’s imaginations with the possibilities of augmented reality.
Yes, augmented reality has been around for years, and yes, technically, Pokémon Go is just a geotagging app with a nice looking skin on it. But with tens of millions of active users in its first week alone, you can’t ignore the impact the app is having.
So, what opportunities are there for advertisers with the rise of augmented reality experiences?
Brand new consumer experiences
In a world where we are bombarded by advertising 24/7, marketers need a way to stand out in the crowd. Great ad copy and a comprehensive through-the-line marketing campaign can be great, but not enough to stand out. Content marketing is popular too. Blogs and gated content all play an important role too, but consumers are being more and more apathetic to typical online marketing.
The best way to reach people today is through meaningful experiences. ARGs give people the opportunity to have a unique experience in a way that requires nothing more than the device they use every day: their smartphone. ARGs allow customers to become immersed in your world. You can take them on a brand new consumer experience with very little barrier to entry. A great example of this is how Starbucks promoted their Christmas cups:
One of the initial ideas behind Google Glass was that with the rise of wearables tech, rather than carrying out a Google search for a product or restaurant or anything else, users could just look around at a nearby brand logo and be given information there and then. It won’t necessarily be long before a logo won’t just be a symbol of brand values, but a directory of opening hours and an ad-board showing the latest deals
Pokémon Go is blazing a trail in this direction with its business strategy. John Hanke, chief executive of Niantic, who developed Pokémon Go in partnership with Nintendo, said “sponsored locations” would provide a new revenue stream, in addition to in-app purchases of power-ups and virtual items.
McDonald’s was the first company to make a deal with Niantic. Every McDonald’s restaurant will be a PokéStop or gym, attracting players to the Golden Arches. Companies are being encouraged to pay for their locations to appear on the virtual map in order to increase footfall and drive marketing opportunities. They will be charged on a “cost per visit” basis, similar to Google’s “cost per click” model.
Augmented Reality allows brands to give consumers amazing experiences that reach right into their very lives. This technology allows marketers to take people on a journey that transcends websites, ebooks, and email marketing, to the very heart of your brand values, making a lasting impression that they’ll love to share.