Over the past few years advertising and marketing with augmented reality has gained increasing
popularity. Augmented reality involves a real world scene combined with computer generated objects
that are displayed on a screen. Depending on the application, the camera’s position and orientation
may be used to produce the computer generated objects.
All over the world there have been various uses of augmented reality in recent years creating a buzz.
Large scale use of augmented reality has had companies use large video screens, sides of building, and/
or bystanders, along with other props to advertise their products. In London, Lynx used augmented
reality to computer generate angels falling into a railway terminal. Passers-by saw a sign telling them
to look up at a screen. They saw an angel fall to earth and were able to pose with it. Hyundai pulled
off a stunt to endorse their new Accent sedan. They hung an Accent sedan off a side of a building and
had someone walk down the side of the building to get into it. Then the fun began. The car was turned
on and appeared to drive on a road projected onto the side of the building. Hyundai received a lot of
chatter from this stunt.
On a much smaller scale, companies have turned to mobile devices to advertise and market their
products, engaging their audience over a longer time. To market the Volkswagen Beetle, Volkswagen
created an interesting app. When a mobile device is pointed at a billboard advertising the Volkswagen
Beetle, a Beetle would break out of the billboard sometimes onto digital ramps and other times real life
objects in the scene. After breaking out of the billboard the car would fly through the air and sometimes
perform tricks, flipping on the ramps. The Avengers movie teamed up with Wal-Mart to advertise the
movie’s release. They created a mobile game in which characters were unlocked in Wal-Mart and used
to fight against Loki and other enemies of the Avengers. Players could find objects throughout the store.
When the mobile device was pointed at these objects, the character was unlocked for that player. The
computer generated enemies also were seen throughout the store through the mobile devices. A couple
of years back, Cadbury started a campaign to endorse their products. They created a game called ‘Qwak
Smak’ that can only be played when a mobile device is pointed towards their brand of product. When
the mobile device was pointed toward one of their products, ducks would appear from behind the
product for a short time. The goal is to touch as many ducks as possible before they disappear. Although
the game is simple, it has far reaching capabilities as prior applications would start based on the shape
of the object not the brand.
These are just some examples of how augmented reality has been used in recent years and show a
prelude to its future. Users will be able to point at billboards with their mobile devices and not only view
entertaining scenes but also be able to buy the products using their mobile devices. With the increase
of engaging augmented reality games and applications, there will be a major increase in marketing with
these games and companies developing games and applications that work only with their products. This
will be a major advertising tool going forward as the only way to play these games will be to buy the
products to unlock the games. The more products you buy will also most likely lead to a more engaging