LADbible's Head of Immersive Joe Williams on why augmented reality is now a powerful marketing tool

LADbible's Head of Immersive Joe Williams on why augmented reality is now a powerful marketing tool

There was a time when Augmented Reality (AR) was considered esoteric in marketing. But in the last couple of years it has seen a revolution enabling brands to merge the real with the virtual to create unique, engaging experiences for consumers.

With recent advances across platforms like Instagram, Snapchat and Tik Tok, it has become a full funnel execution opportunity, according to LADbible Group Head of Immersive Joe Williams.

Speaking at the Just.Marketing conference in partnership with The Creative Marketing Council, Joe explained how LADbible had applied AR to both storytelling and its commercial interests through applications like holograms as part of 360-degree executions, making it a “full-funnel execution” opportunity.

“The beauty of it [AR] is that, as you can see across Instagram, Snapchat, Tik Tok and the web, it can be used as a full-funnel execution within a feed or on-page. It can be used to build awareness then used to engage with brand messages and there is now a basket function across all platforms,” said Joe.

He highlighted interactive ads for Ray-Ban sunglasses on Instagram (built on Facebook’s Spark AR platform) as a success case whereby users can try the product on and interact with it virtually.

However, he cautioned that not every AR execution should be full funnel.

He said: “AR has that buzz around it that sometimes works to its detriment because everyone wants to do everything you can possibly do with a single execution.

“It’s better to know that across that funnel you can drop in at any point you want with the right piece of AR to enhance that moment of interaction.

“But you’re unbounded in where you want to place it in that funnel. It’s about what you’re trying to do and to whom, and then picking where you want to place it [within the funnel]”.

It is worth noting also that AR is accessible to more consumers than ever before, no longer requiring expensive glasses or equipment. It can be experienced on almost any web browser. The growth in AR-enabled devices is also making AR more commonplace in marketing, advertising and sales efforts.

Executions, such as Burger King’s ‘Burn that Ad’ in which smartphone users could obtain a free burger by pointing their phones at an outdoor McDonald’s ad and watching it burn, are also becoming more creative.