Trend report - Augmented Reality

News in the industry - Monday, October 15, 2012

When virtual reality becomes reality

Brand owners, and marketing departments in particular, have a whole new world to discover when it comes to digital media. Apps, QR codes and GPS are just some of the technologies that we have got to know over the past few years. One of the fastest expanding and hottest trends is Augmented Reality technology, or AR. Leading brands and technology providers are adopting this technology to enhance their customers' experiences in new and exciting ways.

Get closer to the consumer

We talked to Magnus Wessel Bøe-Waal, an AR expert and CEO of the Norwegian visual communication agency Placebo Effects. The agency was the creator of the much talked-about AR app for Norway's biggest dairy company, Tine SA. We asked him about the benefits of AR technology in communication and marketing.

- The benefit is interactivity. The possibility of personalizing, of getting closer to the customer. Nowadays a mobile device is a very personal thing and AR enables you to get closer to the customer in an entertaining way. It also makes it possible to capture a lot of valuable, useful data from customers.

Magnus Wessel Bøe-Waal is an AR expert and CEO of the Norwegian visual communication agency Placebo Effects. He was one of the creators of the Norwegian dairy company Tine's successful AR campaign.

Tell a story and build your brand

When you start up an AR project it is important to be clear about your goals and your target group. The technology itself is not the big gain for the consumer, even though it can be quite impressive when you experience it for the first time. But to gain consumers' loyalty, the AR application should offer something more.

- In my opinion, very few people are interested in the technology itself. People want to be told stories, to learn something or to obtain a reward. If you don't tell the story in the right way then you're not really interacting or creating new customer loyalty, which is the goal you're aiming for. There's no point wasting people's time with gadgets unless you connect with their feelings in one way or another. The technology is the tool, dramaturgy is the message, says Wessel Bøe-Waal.

Tine and the AR project

Placebo Effects created the AR technology and app that Tine used on their milk packages.

- Packaging is a perfect tool for an AR application since you need a physical object for the AR marker. The idea was to entertain families at the breakfast table and let them interact directly and physically with the product. It was also a way to communicate the core values of the campaign in families' everyday lives. The AR application provided a tremendous boost during the campaign period, says Wessel Bøe-Waal.

More than 120,000 people (the population of Norway is about 5 million) downloaded the application during the three-month campaign period and the app was the number one app in the Norwegian App store.

Watch the video of how the Tine app was used by consumers.