We’ve reached the point in the augmented reality growth trajectory where AR ad experiences become mundane tactics rather than rare experiments.
Some of the more impressive examples of AR ads that have popped up recently come from Hulu, Coinbase, and Ray-Ban via Snapchat, along with a web-based AR experience from Captain Morgan built with the 8th Wall Web platform.
To promote the second season of the original series Solar Opposites (from Rick and Morty co-creator Justin Roiland), Hulu has published a sponsored lens that reflects the aesthetic of the animated sci-fi sitcom. Starting with the front camera, main character Korvo instructs you to raise your hand, where a sci-fi rock will appear.
From there, the experience switches to the rear camera, where you will be asked to draw a vertical line on your screen. This opens a “pocket dimension”
The Coinbase and Ray-Ban lenses are much simpler, both with the front-facing camera. The former inserts a virtual background behind you, with a halo of Bitcoins around your head and a button urging you to sign up for the cryptocurrency exchange service and earn $ 5 in Bitcoin. The latter allows you to try out three styles of Ray-Bans glasses, along with hot spots explaining different features of each style and a “Shop Now” button to buy them online.
The aforementioned trio of AR ads are now available through the Lens Carousel on Snapchat for iOS and Android. Availability can vary, however, as these compelling ads tend to target specific demographics accurately.
Meanwhile, Captain Morgan tapped Hoopla Digital UK to build an AR minigame for his Original Spiced Gold rum.
After confirming that you are of legal age, you will be asked to place a virtual grid on the nearest wall. Once completed, a wall safe will appear. Using the slider underneath, you have to crack the safe before the timer runs out. If you succeed, you will gain access to the hidden treasure – a virtual bottle of rum … that you cannot drink.
To access this AR minigame, visit the Captain Morgan AR website or scan the code below.
Short-form AR experiences built on platforms such as Lens Studio from Snap, Spark AR from Facebook, and 8th Wall Web seem to be gaining momentum as the method of choice for marketing campaigns, as opposed to developing native apps through ARKit and / or ARCore.
However, we’re still at the point in time when brands are experimenting with the available AR tools at their disposal to see what works, so this could change if Apple and Google added some fantastic capabilities to their respective AR toolkits.