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Augmented Reality, or AR, has become on of the hottest advertising trends in digital marketing. From auto makers like Volkswagen and Volvo to  shopping stores like Bloomingdale, more and more brands are using Augmented Reality to create innovative campaigns to better engage with consumers and increase brand awareness.

According to Mashable.com, Augment reality is defined as “the live, direct or indirect, view of a physical, real-world environment whose elements are augmented by computer-generated sensory input such as sound, video, graphics or GPS data.”  But what is AR really? What does it mean to the brands and consumers?

Forever 21 AR Billboard

Forever 21 AR Billboard

To me, the best place in New York City  to experience and observe Augment Reality is Time Square.  Either the long lasting Forever 21 Billboard right above its flagship store or the Disney Parks campaign, these campaigns all successfully generated positive social buzz with incredible amounts of consumer engagement. (Come one! It’s Time Square we are talking about here.)  More importantly, a successful and continuous Augment Reality Campaign that “wow” the consumers can really lead the consumers to perceive the brands as innovative, or at least fun and creative.

Hyundai has been very active to create AR campaigns on its Time Square Billboard in recent years. Currently, it’s  running a campaign called “Live Image Show”, in which it displays an image of people in Hyundais traveling through an animated version of New York.

Before, it created a campaign called “Hyundai Race”, the world’s largest iPhone controlled racing game at the time, which generated huge media buzz around the brand.  The Users can simply download the app from Hyundai to control the car on Hyundai’s Time Square billboard. By tilting the phone left and right, the users can steer the HyunsI Veloster Hatchback. After the race, gamers’ scores appear on the billboard to compare with other racers.

There are so many great examples of Augment Reality out there that marketers can learn from and expand upon.  There are agencies specialized in Augment Reality (such as Blippar ) that can help your brands reach the  creativity you want in your AR campaigns.

At the end of the day, good AR campaigns help your brands become different than other competitor brands. Consumers recognize you and talk about your brands in a positive way because of whatever you put in your AR campaigns that really “blow their mind”.  Cool right?

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