AR has become less and less of a novelty. It’s becoming much more a part of the furniture in our everyday lives. Whether it’s beautifying ourselves on social media, or seeing exactly what that Billy Bookcase would look like in our living room.

But how can we harness AR for our agencies and why should we?

We spoke to Rich Watson, Founder of Augmented Hype to find out.

The meteoric rise of Augmented Reality

In the past few years, Augmented Reality has rapidly transformed from something associated with expensive gadgets like the ill-fated Google Glass, to something which is accessible to anyone with a smartphone.

“We’re ladened with this device that we spend most of our time on all day, every day. Working and making relationships and doing our shopping on, which is already capable of running AR,’ explains Rich.

From Google Maps, Snapchat Filters and shopping experiences offered by companies like IKEA, Amazon and even paint manufacturers, AR seems to be everywhere.


Why should we utilise AR?

But is this a solid investment for smaller businesses and agencies? What’re the benefits of using AR on a smaller scale than say Meta, who invested close to $15BN in AR?

Rich: “I’ve seen AR experiences leading to longer brand recall, higher engagement, increased conversion rates and fewer product returns.

Higher engagement for paid ads anyway leads to lower ad cost. So if you’re looking specifically for Meta AR ads, (Facebook and Instagram), we’ve seen a reduction in ad costs by up to a third or even more, sometimes. Mainly because the CPMs are lowered.

So compared to non-AR equivalent, AR has doubled the levels of visual attention. Memory encoding is 70% higher with AR, so they’re remembering you above all else. And AR has the ability to generate a more powerful response. So that means obviously people are engaging with it more and are ultimately remembering you.”


Doesn’t using AR exclude certain demographics?

But does this apply to all audiences? What clients with an older customer base, for example? Can AR really be effective in that case?

“We did work with a cosmetic brand that had a mainly older audience. And the way (we engaged) was with an augmented reality ad, on Meta.

The way we made it more relevant to them was older lipsticks, (which) you would have to spread around yourself a little bit more than you do nowadays with modern lipsticks.”

Rich suggested his client utilised the action of “spreading” the lipstick and pursing your lips to “apply’ it. Then the consumer could see what the colour looked like on their own face. Exactly the same process as an old-school tester.

In short, AR doesn’t have to be a “‘futuristic” experience. It can bring the familiar into an unfamiliar setting, making online shopping, (particularly through social media), a more inclusive experience for those using it for the first time.

And it can be used in so many ways. Instruction manuals, FAQs for products like cars, interactive food and beverage menus – the list is endless and the only limit is our own imagination.

So really, AR is for everybody.

Rich Watson, Founder, Augmented Hype

Rich Watson is a strong force in Augmented Reality Marketing. He has spoken all over the world about the future of eCommerce and how it will be brought into Web 3.0. Rich has over 8 years of Facebook ad media buying experience, and he is an avid believer in the potential of Augmented Reality and the power of 3D in marketing.

When he’s not working or speaking, Rich enjoys spending time with his wife in the coastal city of Da Nang in the center of Vietnam.

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