This week Jenni Baker has been looking at the shortlisted campaigns in the media and content sectors of the Festival of Media Global Awards and focused on the trends and insights driving AR in media.
AR’s true potential is still to be unlocked
There’s no doubting the allure of augmented reality (AR) for advertisers – it offers a niche, engaging and immersive way for marketers to reach their target audience. And with worldwide spend on AR advertising reaching $12.8bn in 2017, according to Statista, this is a trend that’s only set to gather more pace.
There’s been much talk about how tapping into consumers’ imagination and sensations can increase brand consideration, and with AR sitting at the intersection of advertising and experience it can extend and enhance the capabilities of a brand significantly.
That’s why this year the Festival of Media Global Awards introduced a brand-new category ‘Best Use of AR / VR Technology’ to celebrate the innovative ways the technology is being used by advertisers around the world – and it’s not restricted to one particular industry sector.
The category shortlist celebrates work from across a range of brands: automotive, food and drinks, retail, FMCG and telecoms – highlighting the broad scope of its capabilities. North America leads the way with four entries coming from the US and Canada, while the remainder is made up of campaigns run in the UK, Germany, Israel and Peru.
Social drives the success of AR
But it’s not a one size fits all approach and while AR is primarily driven by mobile, the shortlist selection throws up an interesting mix of integration with a range of other media channels – from TV to cinema, billboards to print ads – highlighting how by combining these traditional channels with the added dimension of mobile is key to achieving optimum success with AR.
“Obviously, experimentation like that can be crucial to every brand’s strategy – it’s how you test and learn, it’s a stepping stone to driving real impact,” said Adam Gerhart, CEO of Mindshare US.
However, what was a recurring theme across all the shortlisted entries was social media, which proved to be a valuable medium to enhance the reach and shareability of the creative execution – this was apparent across all entries.
Speaking about the rising trend in the use of AR, Meghan Athavale, CEO of Lumo Interactive Canada, said: “I believe the AR campaigns with the most innovation and differentiation were those that focused on working within the constraints of the medium, rather than those that tried to push the technology to its limit for a small number of people in order to produce a video with ‘wow’ factor.”
But while a number of brands have been exploring AR in innovative ways to create multi-sensory, memorable experiences that are unique and ownable, accessibility and scale remains an issue.
“There are still many issues facing augmented reality experiential campaigns at scale, particularly when mass adoption of technology such as headsets is required,” adds Athavale. “Many campaigns had a stronger focus on creating design fiction collateral of their experiences (like videos of a few people using their concept in a controlled environment, which can be more easily distributed on a large scale).”
We put the spotlight on two FOMG Awards 2018 shortlisted entries, which highlight this trend:
The Lenz | Deutsche Telekom | MediaCom | Europe
Shortlisted for: Best Use of AR / VR Technology, Best Use of Mobile, Best Use of Technology, Collaboration Award
Mobile networks are essentially an invisible product – waves that pass through the air – people only care about their provider when their phones aren’t functioning. So branding is critical. Deutsche Telekom’s belief is that “life is for sharing” so it wanted to create a way to match this belief with the excitement millennials are constantly seeking. The brand colour – magenta – gave a unique opportunity to create a natural environment to connect with millennials.
MediaCom gave this audience the chance to turn the colour magenta into something for them – an entertainment channel with the exclusive content they craved. Using chroma-key technology – the same ‘green screen’ technology used in broadcasting – it decided to turn anything that was coloured magenta into an exclusive Deutsche Telekom media channel through its app The Lenz.
By pointing their phone at anything and everything magenta, users could reveal exclusive augmented reality content. This, combined with a unique virtual partnership with Gorillaz, provided a perfect opportunity to offer a unique experience to consumers.
Read the full case study here.
DEW x AMC’s The Walking Dead Encounter | Mountain Dew | OMD | US
The Walking Dead (TWD) on AMC has a fan base that is unparalleled. TWD has been the number one show in all-of-TV for five years in a row, and is the most socially engaged Show, ranking #1 across Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Google and Tumblr.
The Dew brand was eager to create an efficient, yet high-buzz partnership with a media property that excited both the internal PepsiCo system and DEW consumers in the back half of 2017. It was imperative that OMD harness the synergies to drive new excitement for its DEW brand. As such, it aimed to create a custom, break-through way for fans to engage with TWD in a completely immersive way – simply by the palm of their hand.
In partnership with AMC + TWD, DEW created a bespoke, 360-degree programme, including an AR-enabled TV spot, that brought the zombie “Walker” characters directly into consumer’s living rooms and ultimately, their lives. The cornerstone of the partnership was a brand new co-branded app experience: TWD ENCOUNTER, enabling fans to create custom “scares” with Walkers in real life, all courtesy of DEW.
Read the full case study here.
The full shortlist for this years Festival of Media Global Awards can be found here.