Augmented Reality Marketing

When you create an event in the Waterloo Region, you are marketing to a community that is very excited about innovation. That’s why Nicole Neufeld from the Kitchener-Waterloo Art Gallery reached out to Deep Realities to enhance their event marketing material with Augmented Reality (AR). For this quirky event, instead of enhancing a comic strip with digital Augmented Reality content about the comic, the event posted will be augmented with comic strip content titled “Cosmic Bunny’s Journey to The Big Bang”.

On April 7th 2017, the main art gallery exhibit space will be transformed into The Big Bang party. Since the gallery is between installations, it was a great chance to use the space for a huge party that will be immerse guests in the art experience. In addition to the DJ’s fine talents with sound, guests will be able to enjoy cocktails designed by The Berlin while immersed in a stunning cosmic digital experience created by Jenn E Norton and Steph Yates called “Near Fields”.

Deep Realities was honoured to sponsor the Kitchener-Waterloo Art Gallery’s event by creating Augmented Reality marketing materials that will enable viewers to easily participate in contests (using pre-filled Tweet content) and build curiosity about the event.  Whether people were in coffee shops around town or viewing the poster on social media, the LAYAR app is able to recognise the poster image and will overlay the image on the devices with the interactive Augmented Reality content. Download the LAYAR Interactive Print app and use it to scan The Big Bang event poster on the left. The image on the right illustrates the AR interactive digital content. From the buttons, you are able to link to the web site to buy tickets or tweet your contest entry.

For the start of the campaign, the content showcased a teaser video for “Near Fields” and invited people to take a selfie with the poster and share it on social media.  After the contest, the digital visitors will return daily to follow the story of Cosmic Bunny’s Journey to The Big Bang. Cosmic Bunny was designed by Amy Ferrari and Deep Realities developed the colourful comic strip about his travels.

What is particularly challenging for an Augmented Reality marketing campaign is that you need to teach your audience how to use the AR app to view the hidden digital content.  With the overwhelming volume of digital chatter we are bombarded with, it is difficult to capture the attention of your target audience long enough to guide them through to the steps to find the magic in your content.

This is why your content needs to be compelling enough to entice your audience to have enough curiosity to go through the effort to download the app and view the digital AR content.  At first, they will be pleasantly surprised when they see the digital content magically appear. But, then you need to draw them in deeper. This is why it has become increasingly important to integrate Arts skills into Technology. The Arts focus on the human experience, from the visual impression and design to the psychology and sociology elements of the experience.

For The Big Bang event, we added animation to the buttons to attract attention and help the viewer realise that they are interactive buttons for the Call To Action. We incorporated the sample of the video for the “Near Field” immersive digital experience to add movement and life to the digital content. The interactive carousel of images provides instructions about the contest.  When the contest ends, the carousel of images will be updated daily to showcase the comic strip series for Cosmic Bunny to create the atmosphere for the carefree playfulness of the event.

Even with the graphic icon instructions for interacting with the carousel of images, people who have never experienced AR before hesitate to touch the device screen and interact with the carousel. This may mean that you need to simplify the interactive behaviour of your content so that it requires little thought or effort, but then it becomes extremely difficult to make the experience delightful. The fun of discovering content by interacting with it can be over-shadowed by the intimidation of the new interface.

Although the technology for Augmented Reality has been market ready for more than 5 years, the target audience needs time to adapt to a new paradigm shift. Given the passion for Innovation in Waterloo-Region, there is a higher probability that the audience will take a moment to experiment with Augmented Reality. Hopefully we will see a rapid adoption from the KW Innovation Hub and the audience will be able to see things differently.


Copyright 2017 Deep Realities Incorproated