Augmented reality is changing marketing and advertising. According to industry analysis firm ARtillery Intelligence, augmented reality (AR) advertising grew from about half a billion dollars in global revenues in 2019 to $1.41 billion in 2020 and it is expected to surpass $8 billion by the end of 2024.
AR was already on pace to be the next big thing in digital marketing but with the pandemic forcing most of the world to shelter-in-place, it has accelerated this shift, requiring marketers to find new and compelling ways to engage consumers virtually. Augmented reality, in particular WebAR or web-based augmented reality, is uniquely positioned to help marketers and brands engage consumers wherever they are to successfully achieve their marketing goals.
Here are 5 reasons WebAR should be part of your marketing plans this year.
1. WebAR engages consumers wherever they are
Whether it's a portal to teleport consumers to a branded environment, a wine bottle label brought to life to tell a story or a virtual try-on of a pair of sunglasses — augmented reality brings the experience to your customer wherever they are, including at home. WebAR transforms the world, objects and even the consumer themselves into part of an extraordinary digital experience, making the individual an active participant of your campaign.
The interactive nature of AR results in consumers spending significant time with branded content which in turn leads to increased recall and brand sentiment. In fact, according to a recent report from Accenture, 50% of consumers would better recall brands that regularly engage them with immersive technologies and 47% say immersive technologies make them feel more connected with products.
2. WebAR has massive reach
Our smartphones have become powerful augmented reality machines and WebAR makes use of the massive reach of mobile to give marketers the scale they need to deliver results. 8th Wall WebAR technology supports nearly 3 billion smartphones across iOS and Android platforms. The reach gets even larger for 8th Wall WebAR Face Effects which can be used across smartphones, tablets and desktop computers with a webcam.
With the ability to reach consumers at scale, WebAR campaigns are set up for great success. K5 Factory, in cooperation with its partners at 3ltr Werbung & Film, launched a web AR sweepstake promotion for Müller Milchreis, a multinational producer of dairy products. Consumers were presented with a QR code on select yogurt packages and were asked to scan the code to summon an AR character who would virtually peel back the lid to reveal if they won a prize. K5 Factory reported that more than 1 million unique AR experiences were activated as part of this campaign.
3. WebAR requires no app to download
One of the biggest barriers for augmented reality adoption has been the need to download an app. WebAR removes this friction entirely. With WebAR, consumers simply click on a link or scan a QR code to immediately engage with an AR experience in their phone's browser — no app needed. The ease and accessibility of WebAR results in higher engagement and also makes it easier for consumers to share the experience, encouraging virality.
Buu Digital, in collaboration with Publicis and Zombie Studio, used WebAR to power a campaign for Brazilian bank Bradesco. The experience was promoted with a 3-minute TV spot which aired on the Globo network during "The Voice Brasil" season semifinale. The spot featured a QR code on screen which, when scanned, would open the WebAR experience where animated fireflies danced around the consumer's space. The ease of accessing the experience by scanning a code on a TV screen resulted in 250,000 users simultaneously experiencing the WebAR activation within the first five minutes of the commercial airing.
4. WebAR integrates with your existing marketing mix
As WebAR is browser-based, the experience can easily be incorporated in all parts of a 360-degree marketing plan. A WebAR link can be distributed as part of an email newsletter, SMS message or push notification. It can also be used as the destination to any digital ad. A QR code can be displayed on TV, printed on packaging or signage, or displayed in store windows or at events. WebAR can also be featured and experienced inside of native applications including popular social networks as well as embedded directly on a brand's website.
A great example of WebAR as part of a larger campaign was an experience created for Sony Pictures by Trigger–The Mixed Reality Agency for the release of the feature film "Jumanji: The Next Level''. In this WebAR experience, consumers placed a tabletop version of the Jumanji world in their own space so they could explore various scenes from the movie in 3D. The WebAR experience was part of an overall campaign which included a page takeover on Amazon and a digital ad spend. This campaign resulted in consumers spending over 5 minutes in the experience which was more than twice the industry average time spent in WebAR.
5. WebAR has proven results
According to Accenture, 64% of leading consumer brands are starting to invest in immersive experiences. Indeed, WebAR is already in use by major brands in every industry vertical and these experiences are demonstrating ROI including massive use, significant dwell time, and high engagement.
Rose Digital used WebAR to help New York fashion brand KHAITE bring its Spring 2021 shoe collection to life. Consumers scanned a QR code found in the KHAITE lookbook to drop virtual 3D shoes into their space so they could get up-close and view them from all angles. This experience led to a 400% increase in sales for KHAITE and increased customer engagement time by over 4 minutes.
With massive reach and a frictionless experience, WebAR is ready today to engage your consumers wherever they are and help you succeed in reaching your marketing goals. For more examples of marketers and brands already using WebAR check out the 8th Wall blog.
Download the 8th Wall WebAR Fact Sheet for insights you can share with your team and clients.