Ireland’s first Augmented Reality conference, organised by Alex Gibson and held at the Guinness Storehouse, threw up many interesting points of discussion, along with case studies, around AR’s potential in marketing campaigns.
AR, which has been around for about 12 years, has really seen impressive advancement in the last 12 months. This is mainly due to consumers’ access to smartphones and tablets, but also down to the future potential of wearable tech like Google Glass.
An interesting panel discussion, chaired by CMO of Blippar, Jess Butcher, saw Brian Mullins, DAQRI; Sharon Walsh, marketing director, Heineken Ireland; John Boyle, digital director, Ogilvy & Mather, Dublin; and James Dearsley, The Digital Marketing Bureau engage in a frank discussion as to why many Irish brands have not yet embraced AR as a ‘must have’ element in their marketing campaigns.
Sharon Walsh said the fact consumers must take a “little time” to use their phones or tablets to interact with an AR promotion, does have an impact on a marketing team’s decision to use AR or not. “Currently we have seen quite low returns with AR campaigns,” says Walsh. “While it suits some brands and retailers, the creative ideas to build AR into a campaign have to be extremely strong … and with our agencies we still haven’t got there yet.”
John Boyle, digital director, Ogilvy & Mather said that while he often sees clients with large budgets in large markets using AR frequently in advertising, in the Irish market there are still client concerns as to the size of budgets required for AR. “It’s a difficult medium to sell to a client,” says Boyle, “I think the AR space is moving towards utility and engagement and at the end of the day we will expect the same KPIs from an AR campaign as with every other aspect or channel of the campaign.” He also said the term AR is a little off-putting for clients. “I don’t use the term AR. TV was never referred to as ‘augmented radio’ when it arrived. So when I talk about AR to clients, if it’s relevant, I simply describe it as another phase of what they can do as part of the overall campaign.”
James Dearsley also made some interesting points about how older consumers are very open to engaging with AR campaigns. “Older people are the most engaged demographic when it comes to iPads and tablets, and are more likely to engage with relevant AR campaigns, especially in print titles.”
Another dimension – pay close attention
The conference also had one-on-one sessions with suppliers demonstrating the latest in AR, some of which will actually take your brain to “another dimension”.
Demos by connector360, DAQRI and twnkls were worth participating in. Attendees also got to try out the awesome Google Glass. A video of the conference will soon be available, and it is worth a watch. We will keep you posted on Twitter with any updates.