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Augmented Reality + Print

Augmented Reality (AR) ain’t Fortnite but it’s still a hot topic right now. The marketing possibilities seem endless, the technology is advancing and the barriers holding back adoption are quickly disappearing. With viral stories like those related to 19 wines AR labels and AR’s siege of MOMA’s Jackson Pollock gallery, the lines between print and digital marketing are as blurred as our real and virtual worlds.

This was the inspiration behind our recent Print + Augmented Reality lunch and learn as part of our new Print Lab Innovation Series. Jake Walker and Pat Mallek led an entertaining and lively discussion with the Denver marketing community. The top 5 takeaways may change the way you look at print and augmented reality.

1. What in the fudge is Augmented Reality?

Augmented Reality allows you to see and interact with content in your real world that isn’t physically present. It augments your real world. Where Virtual Reality places you in an entirely virtual world, AR takes place in your real world and allows you see and interact with virtual content via goggles or your phone (for now).

2. We are on the edge of some major breakthroughs in the practical, marketing use of augmented reality.

There was over $2.5 Billion of capital invested in AR technology and hardware in the first 11 months of 2017. More importantly, Apple’s ARKit and Google’s ARCore are quickly driving adoption across mobile devices. The biggest barrier to mass adoption by the marketing world is the app-centric nature of the technology similar to that of QR Codes. While many marketers have used this to their advantage to develop branded apps that go beyond just AR, many are hesitant to apply the technology. The huge hardware investments being made by Apple and Google, Apple’s release of Toolkit 2.0, advancements in block-chain technology and coming 5G mobile network speeds, will provide the ability to seamlessly engage with our augmented world via our mobile device very soon.

3. The marketing potential of augmented reality isn’t limited by media or industry.

AR is not magic. AR is triggered by image recognition, RFID beacons or Geo-Location/GPS. Anything graphic can be augmented with an AR tag, digital or printed. Any signage, direct mail, brochure, magazine, digital image or floor graphic can be augmented to expand the content delivered beyond the physical limitations of the ad. The marketing possibilities for retail, signage, events, festivals, hospitality, restaurants, bars, packaging, labels, publishing, travel, non-profit, manufacturing and service organizations are endless. Imagine allowing your customer to engage with every aspect of your brand from a graphic the size of a quarter.

4. Pokemon-Go for a purpose.

Pokemon Go was the high-water point for augmented reality to date. While the game provides endless marketing and data-mining possibilities, it also introduced the world to AR social gaming. The game used an audience’s passion around a character brand to drive engagement. What if you could use your audience’s passion around your brand and social mission to make a difference in the real world?

5. The combination of print + augmented reality is extremely powerful.

Print’s physicality gives it immense power to solicit emotion, inspire feelings and bring a substance to brands that you can touch, feel, smell, hold and now hear and see. The consumer can physically engage with your brand in the real and augmented world on their terms, which creates relational equity. The more senses you engage through your marketing piece, the stronger the impact on the consumer. The advancement of variable data printing, digital printing and printing-on-demand when combined with the possibilities of augmented reality, give marketers the ability to stand-out and deliver more impactful messages than ever before.

Bonus Takeaway…

🌮🌮How ’bout them free tacos though!?🌮🌮

We’d love to thank those that joined us at our first event and if you missed out, you can access a video of the presentation below.

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