Augmented reality has gotten a lot of attention over the past few years. The entire world was captivated by the technology when Pokémon Go launched last summer, and ever since the app was downloaded millions of times, marketers have been hearing about the incredible opportunity that augmented reality presents for their business. Even with all the hype and publicity, many managers are still skeptical about the marketing applications of the technology for their business. Who is one person that can put their minds at ease? Shaquille O’Neal! No, we aren’t kidding. The same Shaq that dominated defenses in the NBA, starred in Kazaam, and has released several rap albums (if you forgot about his music or rap career, then please look them up immediately!).
Shaq and an Ice Tea Bottle?
Arizona Iced Tea was launching their new Soda Shaq line of beverages and was looking for a way to connect with buyers. The company wanted new, innovative ideas to create this connection instead of simple marketing messages and ad placements. To achieve this, nuMedia Innovations created an augmented reality competitive basketball game. Users needed to simply download the app, take a photo of Shaq’s face on the can, and the game launched! Instantly, players were shooting hoops with the flick of a finger while Shaq, his face in realistic 3-D, trash talked any player throwing bricks. A Facebook Hall of Fame Leaderboard and the ability to share photos for points all helped the augmented reality game intensify the launch of the line, astonishingly fast!
Can other advertisers use the same techniques?
Luckily for other advertisers, augmented reality isn’t a limited technology. AR experiences are triggered by marker images, and these marker images can be almost anything. From launching a new product to enhancing an event, augmented reality can take any business or product to the next level! Don’t just take our word for it. Large brands such as L’Oreal and Wayfair have leveraged the technology to incredible results! L’Oreal utilized augmented reality in multiple apps to allow customers to try different hairstyles, hair colors, and make up before buying any product. The apps have been downloaded more than 6 million times! Wayfair, one of the largest online sellers of home décor, launched their augmented reality app to allow customers to visualize a product in their home before a purchase. Other companies have and will continue to implement augmented reality.
How to apply the lessons of Soda Shaq to other companies and products
Yes, augmented reality is being used by big brands. Yes, companies have seen great success by implementing the technology. But how can the lessons learned from Soda Shaq and other AR experiences be applied to other companies and products? First, augmented reality isn’t being used just for the sake of using new technology. AR has been shown to take brands and products to the next level while producing quantifiable results. Second, augmented reality is becoming more and more popular. With Google and Apple investing in AR applications, expect to see more and more developments of augmented reality use cases. Third, the technology is increasingly becoming commonplace. Digi-Capital predicts that the mobile AR market will be $83 billion by 2021. The only way augmented reality becomes this popular is if more companies begin to use the technology. While there are many more lessons that can be learned from the Soda Shaq AR Experience, these are three that can be applied to any business!