AR continues to evolve and take shape. Like other tech sectors, it has spawned several sub-sectors that comprise an ecosystem. These include industrial AR, consumer VR, and AR shopping. Existing alongside all of them – and overlapping to some degree – is AR marketing.
Among other things, AR marketing includes sponsored AR lenses that let consumers visualize products in their space. This field – including AR creation tools and ad placement – could grow from $3.4 billion in 2022 to $14.5 billion in 2027 according to ARtillery Intelligence.
Factors propelling this growth include brand advertisers’ escalating affinity for, and recognition of, AR’s potential. More practically speaking, there’s a real business case. AR marketing campaigns continue to show strong performance metrics when compared with 2D benchmarks.
But how is this coming together? And what are best practices? These questions were tackled in a recent report by ARtillery Intelligence containing narrative analysis, revenue projections, and campaign case studies. It joins our report excerpt series, with the latest below.
Social Commerce Playbook
As we examined in the last installment of this series, Snap is the lens leader – due mostly to its commitment to AR as an organizational priority. But Meta is a close second. Though Snap has ample engagement and reach on its flagship app, Meta has a reach advantage.
That advantage stems from Meta’s global reach and engagement levels across not just one app (as is the case with Snap) but several. This includes Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp, though the latter isn’t really an AR touchpoint. Still, Facebook and Instagram are AR strongholds.
Zeroing in on Instagram for the purposes of illustration, it holds several inherent advantages that prime it for AR integrations. For example, because Instagram has conditioned users to see it as a shopping and product-discovery engine, AR marketing has become a natural fit in the UX.
To unpack that a bit further, AR has a proven ability to help users learn about new products through 3D visualization and “faces & spaces” dimensional product try-ons. Correspondingly, it resonates with brands as it elevates their ability to demonstrate products with greater dimension.
So as Instagram becomes more shoppable and transactional, AR adds product visualization to the mix to engender more confident consumers. This shopping flow (social discovery –> AR tryons –> checkout functionality) is the latest development to the social commerce playbook.
Sphere of Influence
All the above is enabled by Meta Spark. This is Meta’s answer to Snap’s Lens Studio and is similarly positioned as a free platform meant to draw creators and brands into building AR lenses. That creation energy in turn leads to downstream revenue in the form of paid AR distribution.
For example, Instagram works with fashion brands to integrate AR product try-ons that precede in-app transactions. Those transactions have been integrated as part of Instagram’s evolution as a shopping and product discovery engine, as noted. It’s a key player in social commerce.
Another Instagram trait that creates fertile soil for AR marketing is its core influencer framework. But rather than rely on a relatively small batch of high-influence celebrities, AR can decentralize that sphere of influence by creating micro-influencers throughout the social graph.
It does this by letting consumers wear (or be) a given product. For example, Puma’s “Pumans” campaign let users pose with a Puma mask and share with friends. Its viral appeal jumpstarted a network effect as people acted as micro-influencers among their social graphs.
We’ll pause there and return in the next installment with AR marketing platform profiles and campaign case studies that demonstrate best practices. Meanwhile, see the full report here.