The Rise of Augmented Reality

   NEWS / 02 May 2017

The concept of Augmented Reality (AR) has been a phenomenon that is capturing marketers’ interest in recent years. With its potential to change a range of experiences, AR is set to alter the way we find new products and ultimately how we decide which ones to buy. At one time, it seemed impossible that we would no longer live in an age where people would have to read physical maps, follow a tour guide around a museum or be able to see which sunglasses suit your face or which lipstick looks good on you without physically trying anything on. AR makes all of these things possible and more.

 

AR technology enhances the physical environment you see by overlaying virtual elements, such as information or images over it, either through displays such as HoloLens and Google Glass or through the camera view on your smartphone. With AR related apps such as Snapchat taking the world by storm and proving to be a force here to stay, other “fads” such as Pokemon Go have proven to be a quick craze, soon forgotten about. The question remains whether AR itself will be a fad, or the beginning of something amazing.

 

Of course, there are practical reasonings for how AR can be applied to everyday life. As mobile commerce grows, merchants still struggle to come close to the conversions of desktop. Despite these tough obstacles, AR is proving to drive mobile app engagement and conversions by allowing shoppers to try virtual products at home from their mobile devices before buying. Consumers have been proven to spend four times more time on a site or app using augmented reality versus one without it therefore spend more time engaging with brand and products and become more invested in their purchase decisions. Removing the “uncertainty” involved with online shopping increases the shopper's confidence in his or her purchase and reduces returns by 22%. By removing the guesswork of online shopping and allowing consumers to better perceive what the product will look like before clicking 'buy now”, AR greatly facilitates the path to purchase.

 

In a marketing sense, it should be noted that AR is not about creating a completely new reality, it’s about enhancing what already exists. When the virtual is well fitted with the physical and interacts with it, that’s when AR magic happens. As opposed to virtual reality, which immerses you into a different world. AR intertwines virtual elements that might be missing in a specific situation within physical reality. This is one of the reasons why people Snapchat’s AR feature, where users can play with different visual effects to transform ordinary videos into shareable stories.


The crucial part of the AR experience is whether the technology adds real value. Simply overlaying something virtual on a phone screen doesn’t always cut it and can appear gimmicky. Similarly, an app that overlays information and promotions on your phone screen when you point the camera to different stores on a street or products in a shop sounds useful, but marketers have to ask: Are consumers really going to walk down the street holding their tablets or smartphones in the air? The answer is probably no. People will only change their behavior if they perceive the value is worth the effort of adding another information layer into an already saturated digital space. So it’s important to think about the contexts in which they may be willing to do this before adopting AR into the marketing strategy.

x

County Square Shopping Centre

Social Media Management

Located in the heart of Ashford, Kent, County Square shopping centre offers a friendly welcome to visitors from across the county and further afield. With more than 50 shops alongside cafes and restaurants, County Square is the local, relaxed choice for the community.

Since Why Media were appointed as the social media managers for the centre, the account has seen phenomenal growth in group numbers of over 1800%.

x

The Heart Shopping Centre

POS Design

Why Media manages and promotes the Heart Shopping Centre Kids Club events. The POS creative for the events is displayed throughout the centre in advance of the event and is also provided in all required formats for the website, social media and advertisements.

x

ACAI Group

Branding & Corporate Stationery Design

Why Media were delighted to launch the new brand identity and website for ACAI Group, a property investment company with a number of high profile commercial, retail and land assets across the UK.

These assets include 8-10 Grafton Street in Mayfair, The Heart Shopping Centre in Walton-on-Thames Surrey and, the flagship store for high-end retail brand Dior on the prestigious Bond Street. The objective of the branding and creative element of this project was to inject colour, depth and a story behind the brand identity and overall messaging of ACAI (the initials of which represent the three owners of the company). Following completion of the branding process, Why Media delivered a full stationery package including business cards, letterheads and compliment slips and a comprehensive set of brand guidelines, ensuring the brand identity and reputation are protected through a stringent set of ‘brand rules’.

x

Woking Shopping Centre

WokingTV Video Production and Promotion

As a leading regional shopping centre destination Woking Shopping needed to join up a number of platforms to help highlight new retailers and restaurants at the centre as well as a new market area.

Why Media produce monthly videos for WokingTV, and manage all elements including storyboards, planning, filming, editing, video promotion across social media and integration into the website.

x

Goldschmidt & Howland

Bespoke Website Design & Development with Property Feed Integration

Goldschmidt & Howland are North West London's Leading estate agent and letting agent servicing Hampstead Garden Suburb, Belsize Park, Kentish Town, Little Venice, St Johns Wood and more.

Why Media created a brand new bespoke website for the company to enhance their online presence, modernise the design of the website and ensure the site was optimised for search engines.

x

Bovis Homes

Stanton Cross Website

Bovis Homes build some of the best new homes in the UK that are great places to live. Stunning new homes and apartments for sale right now.

Why Media were commissioned to design and build a bespoke website for the Bovis Homes Stanton Cross development. Stanton Cross is a brand-new community in the heart of Northamptonshire on the eastern edge of the historic town of Wellingborough. The website provides an engaging platform for the development and location information.

x

Blue Whale Capital

Bespoke Website Design & Development with Custom API Integration

Blue Whale Capital approached Why Media in a quest to create a modern, functional and tailor-made website with a partner they could work closely and honestly with for this project and their future design and marketing needs.

The website is functionality focussed and incorporates a bespoke API to allow visitors to invest directly through the website. Each call-to-action has been carefully considered to enhance the user journey and ultimately encourage visitors to invest with the company.

x

Larkfleet Homes

Larkfleet TV Video Production & Marketing

LarkfleetTV creates engaging content to promote the Larkfleet Group housing developments. Why Media plans, films, edits and promotes the videos for the company, helping to drive sales and raise the company profile.

x

Go Epsom

Campaign Branding

Go Epsom is the campaign created for Epsom BID. The colourful and vibrant campaign branding was created to promote the town of Epsom, Surrey.

The colour palette and facets were selected to reflect the individual aspects of the town such as shopping, dining and entertainment, while still working together as a whole to form the brand identity.

x

Rivera Property Consultants

Branding & Corporate Stationery Design

Rivera Property Consultants is a leading company offering Property Sourcing, Sales and Lettings Management, Interior Design and Development.

Why Media were approached by Mr. Rivera, a property agent with over fifteen years of experience in the London Property Market, to undertake a full branding and website design project for his newly established business. The branding was crafted to present the company as high-end, professional and established. 

x

The Heart Shopping Centre

Magazine Design, Print & Distribution Management

The Heart Shopping Centre magazine is distributed every 6 months, delivering a Summer issue and Christmas issue. The magazine has been crafted to entice customers in the local area to visit the centre. The magazine is updated with each issue to tie in with the branding, event creative and any campaigns that are running and has proven to be a great success.