What is augmented reality? Augmented reality (AR) is an interactive experience of a real-world environment. Usually, objects that reside in the real world are enhanced by computer-generated perceptual information. Sounds a little complicated…but when done right, the results are simple to interpret.

Why consider advertising with augmented reality? So far, only a small number of companies are using AR to bring products – and more – to life. Meaning you could amaze your customers by being ahead of the curve now, rather than playing catch-up later!

The Different Types of AR Advertising

Augmented reality (AR) advertising encompasses a diverse range of techniques that seamlessly blend digital elements into the real world, creating immersive and interactive experiences for consumers. These AR advertising formats can be categorized into two primary types:

  1. Marker-based AR advertising: This approach utilizes physical markers, such as QR codes or image recognition triggers, to activate the AR experience. Users scan or point their devices at the marker, prompting the app to overlay digital content onto the real-world scene.
  2. Markerless AR advertising: In contrast to marker-based AR, this method eliminates the need for physical markers. Instead, it relies on advanced computer vision algorithms and spatial mapping techniques to track the user’s environment and position their device accordingly. This enables the seamless integration of AR elements into the real world without the requirement for specific markers.

Let’s take a closer look at the benefits of advertising with augmented reality.

Using augmented reality to advertise your business header image
Advertising with Augmented Realityexample screenshot.
Car brands like Mercedes are at the forefront of AR advertising. (Image credit: Daimler)
What is Augmented Reality? Discussing Virtual Reality and VR for Business With Brendan McCourt

Advertising with Augmented Reality: A Unique Way to Advertise

That simple reason to start using AR advertising now? Your brand could be one of the first!

At first, using AR may seem pointless, but it is inevitable that something needs to bring billboards, radio and TV advertising a run for its money. By bringing traditional methods into the digital age, this is the perfect way to catch attention and capitalise on this market while it’s fresh and innovative.

It is also a given that augmented reality advertising boasts great engagement rates. According to Retail Customer Experience via Reydar – AR engagement is up nearly 20% since the beginning of 2020. With conversion rates increasing by 90% for consumers engaging with AR compared to other methods. 

With the rise of wearable AR devices, it will get easier and easier to see AR in daily life. This could mean that the movie advert you always see at your bus stop could be experienced in a whole new way. It would be able to play the movie trailer instead, for example, if you have the right equipment such as an app or Google glasses

With the ever-evolving digital world, content that provides immersive experiences are soon what potential customers will expect. So why not leverage this now rather than later?

Advertising with Augmented Reality ads iPad image.
Augmented reality helps add edge and interactivity to your advertising campaign. (Image credit: Forbes)

How AR Advertising Campaigns Are Created and Executed

Creating and executing successful AR advertising campaigns involves a collaborative effort between brands, creative agencies, and AR technology providers. The process typically follows these steps:

  1. Define objectives and target audience: Clearly identify the campaign goals, the target audience, and the desired consumer behavior.
  2. Concept development and creative ideation: Brainstorm and develop compelling AR experiences that align with the brand’s messaging and resonate with the target audience.
  3. Technical implementation and AR development: Choose the appropriate AR platform and tools to develop the desired AR experience. Ensure the experience is optimized for various devices and operating systems.
  4. Content creation and asset development: Create high-quality 3D models, graphics, and animations that seamlessly blend with the real world.
  5. Testing and refinement: Conduct rigorous testing to ensure the AR experience is bug-free, user-friendly, and compatible with various devices.
  6. Campaign launch and optimization: Deploy the AR campaign across relevant channels, such as mobile apps, social media, or physical locations. Monitor campaign performance, gather user feedback, and make data-driven adjustments to optimize results.

The Benefits of AR Advertising for Businesses

AR advertising offers a multitude of benefits for businesses seeking to enhance their marketing efforts and engage consumers in new and exciting ways:

  1. Enhanced brand engagement and storytelling: AR provides an immersive platform to showcase products, tell brand stories, and create memorable experiences that resonate with consumers.
  2. Increased consumer interaction and participation: AR encourages active participation from consumers, allowing them to interact with products, manipulate objects, and explore virtual environments.
  3. Measurable results and data-driven insights: AR campaigns can be tracked and analyzed to provide valuable insights into user behavior, engagement levels, and campaign effectiveness.
  4. Competitive differentiation and innovation: AR positions brands as forward-thinking and innovative, setting them apart from competitors and capturing consumer attention.

Case Studies of Successful AR Advertising Campaigns

Numerous brands have successfully leveraged AR advertising to achieve their marketing goals and create lasting impressions on consumers. Here are a few notable examples:

  1. Snapchat’s Snap Lens for McDonald’s: This AR experience allowed users to virtually place McDonald’s food items in their environment, increasing app engagement and brand interaction.
  2. IKEA’s Place app: This AR tool enabled users to visualize IKEA furniture in their homes, leading to increased sales and improved customer satisfaction.
  3. L’Oréal’s Virtual Hair Try-On: This AR experience allowed users to virtually try on different hair colors and styles, boosting engagement and product exploration.
  4. Converse’s AR Shoe Customization: This AR tool enabled users to customize Converse sneakers virtually, enhancing product personalization and engagement.
Augmented Reality Technology in Education, Mixed Reality and Virtual Reality with Nuala Trainor

An Innovative Way to Boost Sales

Augmented advertising also has a great potential to boost sales. But in an unconventional way.

Companies such as American Apparel and Converse have come up with brilliant augmented reality examples in the past. American Apparel have made it easier to view different products and colours of products in their stores. The app allows users to scan a product and it will then show the user the price of the product and further information. The best part? The customer can change the colour too.

Converse also has a similar app. Users can point their camera at their leg and choose a shoe from their catalogue. The shoe will then magically (virtually) appear on their foot. Users can then see if they like the shoe and see if it fits in with their style, making their shopping experience easier and more fun. 

Check out the video below for Converse’s take on AR…

With apps such as the ones talked about above and similar such as the Ikea Place app. Potential customers can see the product in a virtual environment and decide if they like it there and then, if it suits their home. 

This is key for this type of advertising to boost sales. You could use this technique to create convenience for customers, as well as adding that all-important ‘wow’ factor, to help you result in more sales.

A Cheaper Advertising Option

Many people assume that augmented reality is an expensive technology to produce and wouldn’t be wrong. It is expensive – just not as expensive as printed advertising. 

With printed advertising, there are many different types. There are ads within magazines and newspapers, billboards and direct mail. All have one thing in common: a hefty printing cost!

Augmented reality means you don’t have any printed material and if you do, it’s not that much. That’s because it would be limited to any printed material directing people to the AR experience.

Another noteworthy aspect is that compared to print advertising, augmented reality advertising is far more worthwhile investing in. Mindshare via Reydar discovered that augmented reality experiences are 200% more engaging compared to their non-AR equivalent, as they deliver double the levels of engagement.

A Way To Give Life To Your Brand

One of the best parts of augmented reality? It can bring fun and inject life to your products. It is the most interactive method of advertising out there. It also has the potential to make people like your advertising. 

After all, we live in a generation where no matter where we go, there’s ads in every corner. Whether that be on our commute to work, we will see ads on public transport. When we read the news, there will be full pages dedicated to ads. Even online – whether we are checking our email or browsing, ads are in our presence most of the day. 

It’s no surprise that we often block ads out – it has been ingrained in us to channel them as ‘white noise’ as we are exposed to them so much. Therefore nowadays, only the most innovative forms of advertising penetrate our interest.

This is why augmented reality advertising is so forward-thinking. This could well be the technology to turn that around. 

In fact we might love it so much, we will go out of our way to see adverts. For example, if there is an AR product demonstration happening in a shopping centre, you will be more inclined to stop and find out more. 

Or, if you’re shopping and want to know what an item of clothing looks like on you, but you don’t have the time to try it – AR would be a convenient alternative. 

The thought of creating an ad that potential customers would actually seek out to experience is too great to ignore. Augmented reality technology is the key to this, as supported by powerful recent statistics. 

Another augmented reality example comes from L’Oreal. Their success story with AR saw the company’s sales go up by 49% in 2019 as a result of customers having the chance to ‘try before they buy’. This is undeniably a huge surge in interest, and cements why AR should be seriously considered by companies such as yours.

Key AR tech advancements

Key AR Tech Advancements

  • Enhanced Spatial Mapping and Tracking: AR technology will become more sophisticated in its ability to map and track a user’s surroundings, enabling more seamless and immersive AR experiences.
  • Improved 3D Object Recognition and Tracking: AR will become more adept at recognizing and tracking 3D objects in real-time, allowing for more interactive and realistic AR experiences.
  • Advanced Occlusion and Lighting: AR will become more proficient at occluding virtual objects behind real-world objects and simulating realistic lighting conditions, enhancing the realism of AR experiences.
  • Integration with AI and Machine Learning: AR will leverage AI and machine learning to personalize AR experiences, provide real-time insights, and enable more natural interactions.
  • Cloud-based AR Infrastructure: AR will increasingly rely on cloud-based infrastructure to process data and deliver AR experiences, enabling more powerful and scalable AR applications.

Consumer Adoption Trends

  • Widespread Smartphone Adoption: The continued growth of smartphone penetration will provide a vast platform for AR adoption.
  • Increasing Availability of AR-enabled Devices: More devices, including smartphones, smart glasses, and AR headsets, will incorporate AR capabilities, expanding access to AR experiences.
  • Growing Consumer Interest in AR: Consumer interest in AR is steadily increasing, driven by advancements in AR technology and the availability of compelling AR experiences.
  • Demand for Practical and Engaging AR Applications: Consumers will seek AR applications that provide real-world value, solve problems, and offer immersive and engaging experiences.
  • Growing AR Literacy and Familiarity: Consumers will become increasingly familiar with AR technology and its capabilities, leading to more widespread adoption.

Advertising Innovations

  • Immersive Product Visualization and Try-on: AR will enable consumers to virtually try on products, such as clothes, makeup, or furniture, before purchasing, enhancing customer confidence and reducing returns.
  • Interactive AR Shopping Experiences: AR will transform shopping experiences, allowing consumers to interact with products virtually, compare items, and receive personalized recommendations.
  • Location-based AR Advertising: AR will enable brands to deliver targeted and contextually relevant advertising based on a user’s location, offering proximity-based offers and product information.
  • Gamified AR Experiences: AR will be integrated into games and interactive experiences to capture consumer attention, promote brand engagement, and drive sales.
  • AR Social Media Integration: AR will become integrated into social media platforms, enabling users to share AR experiences, create virtual environments, and interact with brands in augmented reality.

These advancements, trends, and innovations suggest that AR is poised to play a significant role in the future of technology, consumer experiences, and advertising. By embracing AR and its transformative potential, businesses can unlock new opportunities to engage with consumers, enhance brand experiences, and drive growth.

Checklists of top AR agencies

Checklists of Top AR Agencies

1. Experience in AR and VR: Check if the agency has a proven track record of developing and executing successful AR and VR campaigns.

2. Expertise in different AR technologies: Verify if the agency is proficient in various AR technologies, such as marker-based AR, markerless AR, and SLAM.

3. Understanding of target audiences: Assess whether the agency has a deep understanding of your target audience and can tailor AR experiences to their preferences and behaviors.

4. Creative storytelling skills: Evaluate the agency’s ability to craft compelling narratives and engaging AR experiences that resonate with your audience.

5. Strong technical capabilities: Ensure the agency possesses the technical expertise to develop and implement AR campaigns across diverse platforms.

Available AR Ad Formats Across Social/Search Platforms

Social Media Platforms


  • AR Filters: Create interactive filters that overlay digital elements onto users’ live videos or photos.
  • AR Camera Effects: Develop immersive camera effects that enhance the real world with virtual objects or animations.
  • AR Shopping Experiences: Enable users to virtually try on products or place items in their surroundings.


  • AR Spark AR Studio: Utilize Instagram’s native AR creation platform to build interactive filters and effects.
  • Product Visualization: Showcase products in an immersive 3D environment, allowing users to interact and explore.
  • Virtual Try-on Experiences: Let users virtually try on makeup, glasses, or accessories in real-time.


  • Lens Studio: Utilize Snapchat’s Lens Studio to create interactive AR lenses for augmented selfies and experiences.
  • World Lenses: Develop AR lenses that augment the world around users, adding virtual objects and animations.
  • Product Placement Lenses: Integrate branded products and elements into AR lenses to promote products and enhance brand visibility.

Search Platforms

Google Search:

  • AR Shopping Results: Enable users to virtually try on products or place items in their environment directly from search results.
  • AR Product Demos: Provide users with immersive product demonstrations using AR overlays in search results
  • AR Navigation and Wayfinding: Guide users through real-world locations using AR directions and overlays.

Google Lens:

  • AR Object Recognition and Information: Identify objects in the real world and provide relevant information or augmented content.
  • AR Translation and Interpretation: Translate text in the real world using AR overlays, enhancing communication and accessibility.
  • AR Product Recommendations: Suggest relevant products based on objects identified in the real world using AR.

Tips for Measuring Campaign Success

1. Define Clear Objectives: Establish specific and measurable goals for your AR campaign, such as increased brand awareness, lead generation, or sales.

2. Track Key Metrics: Monitor relevant metrics to assess campaign performance, such as impressions, engagement rates, click-through rates, and conversions.

3. Utilize Analytics Tools: Leverage analytics tools provided by AR platforms or integrate third-party analytics to gather data and insights.

4. Conduct User Surveys: Gather feedback from users through surveys to understand their experience, preferences, and campaign impact.

5. Analyze Brand Sentiment: Monitor brand mentions and sentiment across social media and online platforms to gauge consumer perception of the AR campaign.

Downloadable Tools

  • AR Campaign Planning Checklist
  • AR Ad Format Selection Guide
  • AR Campaign Measurement Toolkit
  • AR Campaign Reporting Template
  • AR Best Practices Handbook


Q: What is the future of AR advertising?

A: AR advertising is poised to play a significant role in the future of marketing and advertising. With advancements in AR technology, increasing consumer adoption, and innovative advertising formats, AR is expected to transform the way brands engage with consumers and drive business results.

Q: What are the benefits of AR advertising for businesses?

A: AR advertising offers numerous benefits for businesses, including enhanced brand engagement, increased consumer interaction, measurable results, and competitive differentiation. AR allows brands to create immersive and interactive experiences that capture attention, promote brand interaction, and drive desired outcomes.

Q: What are some examples of successful AR advertising campaigns?

A: Several brands have successfully utilized AR advertising to achieve their marketing goals. Examples include Snapchat’s Snap Lens for McDonald’s, IKEA’s Place app, L’Oréal’s Virtual Hair Try-On, and Converse’s AR Shoe Customization. These campaigns demonstrate the effectiveness of AR in creating engaging experiences, driving consumer interaction, and achieving measurable results.

Q: How can I measure the success of my AR advertising campaign?

A: Measuring the success of an AR advertising campaign requires a strategic approach. Define clear objectives, track key metrics, utilize analytics tools, conduct user surveys, and analyze brand sentiment. By gathering comprehensive data and insights, you can effectively evaluate campaign performance and identify areas for improvement.


AR advertising is on the verge of revolutionizing the way brands connect with consumers and drive business growth. With its immersive and interactive capabilities, AR offers a unique platform for brands to create engaging experiences, enhance brand perception, and achieve their marketing objectives.

As AR technology continues to evolve and consumer adoption increases, AR advertising is poised to become an integral part of the marketing landscape, shaping the future of brand engagement and consumer experiences.

For more information on how you can get started, contact ProfileTree.

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