augmented reality in marketing
Image Source

Augmented reality (AR) is a rapidly growing industry that is believed by 70% of consumers to provide value and bring benefits, according to TechJury.

Whos is especially interested in AR are the kings of people’s attention and interest – digital marketers. In fact, 67% of media planners and buyers want AR/VR ads in digital marketing campaigns. And it would be absolutely great if they knew how to use them.

In this article, we cover the 5 questions ask before using augmented reality in your marketing strategy to make it really successful.

And we’ll kick this off with a rough one.

See, it’s very cool that you’ve invested into the next generation market-disruptive AR application that everybody should feel the urge to download and experience, but no. It doesn’t work like that.

You want users to download your AR app that should stimulate them to buy your products or use your services, but why would they?

You’re adding unnecessary steps to your customer journey making it even more complicated. Instead of motivating your users to go directly to the desired sale point, you’re making them go back and install the app.

However, this is not necessarily your problem. Currently, AR is limited to mobile apps, so it’s really difficult to find the touchpoints which would make AR useful.

But don’t give up so easily.

Leverage the power of apps that are already used by millions of users like Snapchat, for example.


This video shows how Bacardi introduced custom filters and music effects in the Snapchat app which uses AR, face recognition, and motion capture technologies. While advertising this way with Snapchat might be costly, you may try other apps that already have a targeted user base.

What do you capitalize on except for the “Wow” effect?

The “wow” effect is great, but it’s very short, and you can’t be “wowing” for hours in a row.

When you create an AR app for your marketing strategy, you have to think beyond an animated character, video placement, or any other special effect. Apart from that, you have to make sure your application is interactive and useful in everyday life.

To motivate users to download the app, you have to show them a real value which your AR app can provide.

If you’ve heard of a Heineken AR app which I bet you haven’t unless you’ve been intentionally googling it, then you might have realized why Heineken failed in their AR marketing strategy.


You point the camera to a bottle of beer and a video starts playing. What’s the point?

Heineken could have empowered their AR app with gamification. Gamification is a strategy of leveraging game mechanics in non-gaming environments.

For example, they could have built a simple app with a dashboard where users would collect bottles by scanning them using the app, and getting scores, coins, or experience and then exchanging it for branded products which they could preview in AR.

By implementing a leaderboard, Heineken would be able to engage users with the application and nurture the competition where the most loyal and successful users could be encouraged and bring even more users with them.

How does your AR app incorporate your brand?

What makes users associate the application and experience it provides with your brand?


This is how Pepsi Max managed to incorporate their brand into the AR experience using a camera and display. As a part of their guerilla marketing strategy, they’ve installed a TV on a bus stop. By providing the AR experience to people waiting for a bus, they managed to get exposure because of several things:

  • Sudden, unexpected animations in an unexpected place
  • Pepsi Max logos on both front and back sides to make sure people know where it came from
  • Installation on a waiting point (when people wait they look for entertainment)
  • People started taking photos with the TV and AR animations featuring the Pepsi Max on their Instagram profiles or elsewhere

The strategy that Pepsi Max used was not to drive users to a direct purchase, but instead to spread awareness, get exposure, and grow the community.

What problems does your AR application solve?

Your AR application may not necessarily solve very complicated or niche problems. Instead, you can simply focus on building an application that:

  • Entertains people
  • Makes users interact with it (using gamification, for example)
  • Can be shared with friends on social media
  • Capitalizes on interests that lead to an interaction instead of passive interests

After you’ve figured out the purpose of your AR application for a marketing strategy, you have to understand what this app should motivate your users to do.

What actions do you motivate your users to take?

There are many AR applications like Kate Spade AR app, AMC, Heineken, Heinz, and others that don’t really motivate users to take any actions, provide unclear instructions, and complicate the customer journey.

With your AR application, you should definitely avoid that, and go with a precise strategy where you know exactly what people are going to do and how they are going to do it.

Moreover, you should understand what your AR app will mean for your brand:

  • Brand awareness, exposure, and visibility (through social media sharing, word of mouth, or other channels)
  • Interaction with branded products and services through an AR application
  • Direct purchasing of products, booking, or use of services, etc.

Have a look at how BIC Kids managed to build an interactive AR application which is based on a DrawyBook storybook where kids can paint predefined sketches and see them come alive.


After using such an application, kids would definitely get excited and ask for more DrawyBooks which directly affects the company’s revenue.


AR in marketing is a thing, but you have to use it the right way. There are a lot of wasteful examples on the web where Augmented Reality made little to no impact, however, there are also good ones which you can look into and learn from.

When it comes to using AR in your marketing strategy, you have to focus on the people’s needs, for example, a need for fun and entertainment instead of capitalizing on the trend and innovation.