Technology and the incredible speed at which it is evolving everyday accounts for the many creative ways it is utilized every day. From daily tasks to events and activations, the uses of the latest technologies are vast and with great potential.
One of the latest and most enthralling of these are Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR) whether large scale or small scale, events with mixed reality activations are the 2019 upcoming technology trends that excite a lot of audiences.
What is activation in marketing?
A relatively newer branch of marketing, brand activation is based on more guerilla style and experiential marketing techniques. Taking into use all sorts of mainstream media platforms and formats, activations cut short the deliberation process happening between communication and purchase. Activations are fun and engaging in a way that pushes the customer towards action on the spot, rather than taking the longer route to it.
It is a better way to nudge the customers towards purchase, referrals and brand loyalty.
The most common examples of brand and event activation happen through:
Real life experiential marketing:
It can be in public places, events or brand stores as per the requirements and purpose.
Sponsored sample testing:
This is not only active engagement, but it also provides genuine feedback for your brand image and marketing efforts.
Pop-up brand stations:
Usually, these stations are a combination of digital media with the perks of a real-life location.
These are brand events that occur in spaces outside the parameters of your home.
Roadshows led by influencers cover a lot of area and people who are interested in your brand.
Activations of all kinds are an excellent opportunity for a marketer to do creative ideation, planning and execution for brands and events. To be able to provide a unique brand experience, these kinds of activities need a lot of brainstorming, resources and larger budgets.
Activations are usually very specific and more often than not, highly customized to provide a meaningful experience to the audience in the given time.
While the grandness of activations conducted in real time is excellent, the AR VR brand activations are stealing the show these days. Built on robust technology and grand creative visions, they utilize digital reality as the channel, the way and the place to tell their tale.
How does Virtual Reality (VR) work?
As the name suggests, VR is a world created in virtual or digital space. It can be considered a reality separate from the real-life space outside of the digital platforms. VR allows you to convert simple 2D things into virtual experiences that engage many senses at the same time. Brand storytelling efforts are enhanced with the help of VR, leading to more successful advertising and marketing strategies.
Many brands are now using VR of different types that specialize in achieving specific purposes. The incubation arm of Walmart, for example, specializes in a type of VR known as the “vCommerce”. Placed in Walmart stores, it has generated a lot of interest in people who want to experience it, increased overall footfall, subsequently increasing the sales as well.
Similarly, Alibaba also developing upon the Buy+ concept of VR activation that would allow the audience from across the world to walk into virtual stores and shop from right where they are. There are many avenues yet to be pursued in the field of virtual reality and related activations.
How does Augmented Reality (AR) function?
While VR takes the plunge into a world that is entirely separate from real life, AR adds elements to the real world view. For marketers, it allows them to add their information and details on to people’s actual view, broadcasting the brand vision in the real world. One of the most famous examples of trending AR technologies was the game Pokemon Go. AR is currently used to varying extents in many apps and inactivation experiences around the globe. Be it mapping of event locations or enhancing product promotions of brands, AR is everywhere.
Augmented reality photo booths and AR selfie booths are especially very useful at activations as interactive techs that combine digital AR and real-life fun at events. Big brands are using green screen photo booths for road shows and several other experiential marketing tactics. These kinds of mixed reality activations may be relatively recent but are very impactful in the way they fulfil their purpose.
Embracing AR VR Brand Activations:
From virtual reality simulations to augmented reality photo booths, AR and VR are going to be a big part of the future of marketing. It is not just the feature and great web design of what is offered to the customer that pushes purchase. Today, it is also how it makes them feel and how they experience the product. This is the time to embrace the multi-dimensional and dynamic quality that AR and VR add to brand and event activations.