AR continues to evolve and take shape. Like other tech sectors, it has spawned several sub-sectors that comprise an ecosystem. These include industrial ARconsumer 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 $4.7 billion in 2023 to $11.8 billion in 2028 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.

How is this coming together? And what are best practices? These questions were tackled in a recent report by our research arm, ARtillery Intelligence, including narrative analysis, revenue projections, and campaign case studies. It joins our report excerpt series, with the latest below.

AR Marketing Best Practices & Case Studies, Volume 4

Curtain Call

To celebrate the film release of Sing 2, Universal Pictures wanted to promote the film in engaging ways. It looked to TikTok to create an interactive campaign utilizing AR effects. Its goal was to boost interest in the film and reach audiences that are out of reach from other ad media.

To hit these marks, the AR effect put users on a virtual stage and prompted them to sing one of the film’s songs, while thematic animated adornments surrounded them. This approach was meant to create participatory, comical, and serendipitous outcomes that users want to share.

With the help of agencies Brad&k Productions and Mediacom, It coupled this effect with TikTok’s Hashtag Challenge format to breed additional user incentives and gamification. The best videos were chosen for a mashup video that was shown at the start of Sing 2 screenings.

And the results? All of the above drove 212 million total videos created with the effect on TikTok. Those videos achieved a total of 600 million views and a 4.5 percent engagement rate. These are movie-scale figures in terms of the “numbers game” needed in film marketing.

Will Mobile AR Revenue Reach $21 Billion by 2028?

Be Real

Stepping back, what are the strategic lessons that can be extracted for AR marketing best practices? For one, like many of the AR marketing case studies in this report, virtual interaction with the product boosted brand awareness and intended exposure metrics. Interactivity is key.

Additional appeal came from the campaign’s thematic alignment with the film in terms of the singing behavior that the effect stimulates. The act of singing also bred comical outcomes and viral appeal, aligned with the self-deprecating and be-real vibes endemic to TikTok.

Universal Pictures also worked with TikTok influencers and voice actors on a series of videos to kick off the campaign and inspire participation. This was influential in exposing and amplifying the TikTok effect, thus accelerating its early traction and stimulating a snowball effect of sorts.

Lastly, there was a notable geographic component to the campaign. It was specifically targeted to users in Italy – the first campaign in the region to combine a TikTok branded Effect and a Hashtag Challenge, giving it some degree of novelty. See a video of the filter in action here.

We’ll pause there and circle back in the next AR marketing case study with more best practices analysis. Meanwhile, check out the full report

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