Invest in AR, Invest in Your Brand

Measuring long-term value and understanding the implications for brands

Augmented Reality (AR) is revolutionizing the way brands connect with consumers, allowing for stronger and more meaningful engagements. 80% of AR shoppers feel more confident in their purchase as a result of using AR¹. As the adoption of AR continues to grow, it becomes crucial for brands to understand its long-term implications and harness its potential to build and strengthen relationships with consumers.

To delve deeper into the impact of AR, we partnered with Omnicom Media Group (OMG) to conduct a multi-phased research framework through independent research agency, Breakthrough Research, in 5 markets (US, UK, CA, KSA, AU) and included the following phases: 

  • Global quantitative study: utilizing a cell-based design measured the incremental impact of a branded AR experience on brand metrics, in addition to vertical video ads.

  • Online diaries: measured consumer reactions to branded AR Lenses and tracked them over a 4-week period to understand longer-term impact on brand perceptions.

  • Implicit brand associations using Lexical Decision Task (LDT): provided a more robust understanding of AR's impact on unconscious brand-building.

AR leaves consumers feeling smarter 

In the quantitative study, using LDT, we saw significant increases in the responsiveness of consumers to words related to smartness, like brilliance and intelligence, once they have been exposed to both AR and Video ads of brands, suggesting strong unconscious brand associations in those areas. These results highlight the potential impact of such associations on consumer behaviors when they leverage AR.

AR drives long-term brand impact

Additionally, when experienced multiple times over 4 weeks, AR has a lasting impact on consumer decision-making. Brands that include AR experiences in their marketing campaigns consistently over the test period experienced greater improvements compared to their non-AR counterparts, with statistically significant increases in metrics like brand opinion, purchase intent, and recommendation intent over the 4-week diary study.

AR complements existing video buys

AR has the potential to influence consumer relationships with brands at every stage of the marketing funnel, from increasing familiarity to driving purchase intent and generating advocacy. Hence, by creating relevant touch points within the consumer journey using AR, brands can power-up their existing video content and create shareable shopping experiences. 

AR novices crave novelty, AR veterans demand it

For new AR users, the technology feels groundbreaking and novel, generating increased memory of ads in that format and increased relevance for the brand. They feel excited to use it.  In fact, repeat exposure to AR lenses can even reverse previous negative perceptions of a brand, offering fresh perspectives and opportunities for improved brand experiences.

While frequent AR users come to expect AR as an everyday part of their lives, especially in their comfort with brands that use it.

Inclusive AR executions empower connections with underserved segments

While excitement for AR is widespread, multicultural and LGBTQIA+ consumers feel less represented in AR campaigns. Brands should actively work towards bridging this gap by developing AR experiences that cater to diverse audiences. Brands can create resonant AR experiences for everyone by avoiding pitfalls like cultural appropriation, stereotyping, and ignoring intersectionality, while ensuring inclusivity by collaborating with experts.

Invest in AR, invest in your brand

Augmented Reality has emerged as a game-changer for brands, creating more empowered and confident consumers. As AR adoption continues to grow, brands that invest in AR and integrate it thoughtfully into their strategies will reap the benefits of enhanced consumer relationships, increased engagement, stronger brand perception and long-term brand loyalty. By following best practices, embracing inclusivity, and leveraging advanced AR tools, brands can unlock the full potential of AR and stay ahead in an ever-evolving digital landscape.

1 2022 Alter Agents Utility of AR study commissioned by Snap Inc. and Publicis Media
2 2022 Breakthrough Research Future of AR study commissioned by Snap Inc.
3 2023 Breakthrough Research Long-Term Impact of AR study commissioned by Snap Inc. and Omnicom Media Group