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Jenni Purcell


How can brands use Augmented Reality?

The Strategy Team are all about applying tech knowledge to work out innovative solutions for business challenges and marketing objectives. So, this week we’ve been thinking about how brands can leverage Augmented Reality (AR). Is it just a gimmick or are there genuine use cases?

Moving beyond Pokémon Go

If you hadn’t heard about Pokémon Go, what rock have you been living under? The game took the world by storm, with even the most cynical Londoners (myself included) running around to catch that elusive Pikachu. Since the buzz died down, brands have been left scratching their head about how to get in on the action. One interesting relative newcomer is an app called ‘Snatch’. Snatch is an augmented reality treasure hunt where players use mapping technology to explore their surroundings to try and find parcels that contain brand prizes. Players can ‘snatch’ parcels from each other and buy “tools” with coins in the app to temporarily protect their parcels. If you manage to hold onto a parcel for 6 hours, you win the prize! The use case is an interesting one for brands. Snatch recently worked with Just Eat to try and solve their problem of low takeaway traffic on Monday and Tuesday.  They released parcels with a £10 off voucher for Monday & Tuesday nights and a soaring 90% of the discounts were redeemed. And eight months later, it’s not just independent developers who are experimenting with AR. ‘Just a Line’ is an experimental Google AR project. The proposition is simple enough but does an excellent job of showcasing what AR activations are capable of. Load the app and it’ll take a minute and calibrate the space around you; it's all very futuristic. Once done, use your fingers to draw, doodle, or sketch whatever your heart desires!
When you've finished, you take a step back to admire your work. And thanks to AR, you can now step through it and admire your creations in a full 3D rendered space. You can even shoot videos within your drawn world to share with friends! While on the surface it doesn't appear that deep and useful, the forward-thinking can only imagine the possibilities that users will find. Combine that endless user creativity with brand-sponsored competitions, advertising, and installations, and it sounds like a very exciting future ahead for AR. For brands, it’ll be interesting to see whether traffic on the platform continues to grow and if there is a clear ROI for taking part.  If so, will Snatch become a compelling new channel to reach willing consumers? It’s just one of the many ways brands should be assessing the potential of AR for business.


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