Ready or not, if you are in marketing, augmented reality is now a player in your game. In the last couple of months, it seems like articles on AR in advertising are everywhere.

AdWeek’s Facebook and Apple Are About to Take AR Mainstream. Here’s How Marketers Are Gearing Up stresses the importance of getting into AR now rather than later. “The number of users is expected to jump by 36 percent between now and 2020, when 54.4 million Americans will regularly engage with AR, according to eMarketer.” That’s less than three years away.

AdAge goes even deeper in Augmented Reality: Marketing’s Trillion-Dollar Opportunity. There’s been a lot of talk lately about Amazon disrupting the grocery industry, but picture this:

As low-cost augmented glasses become widespread, imagine walking down a well-stocked grocery aisle and seeing only foods that are sugar-free or that fit your new keto diet. Halal or non-GMO foods could be highlighted in your vision while other packaging would fade into the background. If you wanted to try a new recipe you saw on Facebook that morning, your glasses could show you the exact ingredients to purchase and even suggest wine or food pairings.

If you’ve been slow to adopt mobile, or you’re just not a techy sort of person, this new world might be a little intimidating. But if you’re in marketing, you should see it is an opportunity to really exercise those creative muscles. Leave the technicalities to the tech people.

I recommend you read this article in Forbes, 11 Creative Uses Of Augmented Reality In Marketing And Advertising. There are some great suggestions here, but a few highlights:

AR As Primary Storytelling Medium I wrote about brand storytelling recently, and the dramatic potential of AR is really exciting.

Offering Unique, Memorable Interactions Because who doesn’t want to create unique, memorable interactions?

Experimenting With Many Clients “This will allow great opportunities to learn about AR’s capabilities, benefits, and issues before investing in a larger scale project.”

Bonus: is all about AR, and they have some very specific suggestions about augmented reality advertising—it’s definitely worth checking out.

Of course, this could end up turning the world into an episode of Black Mirror, but the positive potential of this technology has helped allay most of my dystopian fears. I recommend anyone connected with marketing get on board before the train leaves the station, because that train’s not coming back.


photo credit: lawrencegs Google Glass via photopin (license)