What AR and Gaming Will Do to the Marketing Industry

Augmented reality - heads up display concept

Image via Wikipedia

Thankfully, The Charlotte Agency‘s Creative Director John Dermott is a huge fan of video games. I’m a fan of studying and creating strategy based on consumer behavior. This is one of those times when the harmony seems just too good to be true.

Augmented Reality and gaming are about to rock the socks off the marketing industry. Seriously. The shear scale of rock sock-offage is staggering. And we are pumped to be a part it. First, a few definitions.

Augmented Reality (AR) is defined as “a live direct or indirect view of a physical real-world environment whose elements are augmented by virtual computer-generated sensory input such as sound or graphics.” It is related to the term mediated reality, which occurs when reality (as we know it) is distorted or even replaced, by technological enhancement.

Gaming, as I will define it, means when people are engaged in situations where tangible and non-tangibles incentives can be sought after, competed for, and awarded. It can also include several social networks. So in this definition, I include HALO, Second Life, Farmville, and World of Warcraft and Call of Duty, X-Box Kinect all under the same category.

Forgive the definition gaming purists. I’m not going to even try to pretend I’m one of you.

Here are reasons why AR and Gaming will be huge:

1. Mobile Phone Technology:
With Droids, IPhones, BlackBerries running rampant in our society, we are becoming more and more connected to technology. And with society’s bloodthirst for instant-gratification, brands that engage in AR will be “first” and stick in many consumers’ consideration sets.

2. Tablets:
The iPad, along with Samsung’s Tab and Lenovo’s tablet (I don’t remember the name) will change how we look at and use laptops.  From the gaming perspective, it will be easier for users to play games on it, and interact with many other users. Plus, these users won’t have to be at home. So with the added bonus-mobility- brands that are in games (or games that include specific environments) would benefit.

3.Consumer Trends:
With #1 and #2 combined, it is clear to see how much people enjoy distorted reality. It’s no longer cool to enjoy a night of chess with a few people. It has to be in an online room, with 10,000 people. There is an interesting movement of people wanting to be connected, yet stay local. Hence why GroupOn, Yelp, and the like have seemingly appeared out of nowhere. That’s why Location-based Services (LBS) have gone “mainstream” with the media-savvy.

What Industries Can Benefit?

Although we think AR and gaming will be huge, there may be a diminishing utility element of it. Meaning only SO many brands in certain games and industries will benefit marginally before everyone else gets involved and benefits level out. Here are a few that I think can rock this trend:

-Food and Beverage (obviously)
-Auto (See: Call of Duty Jeep)
-Real Estate
-Musuems and Exhibit Halls
-Dining
-NASA (See: Stellarium app on Droid..sweet!)
-Pro Sport Events

There are plenty of ways that brands can incorporate games into their own processes (see: Stash Games. No affiliation with them, but we like what they’re doing).

Pick up your brand, come on over and play with us.

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