Brands deploy augmented reality in their marketing

The use of augmented reality (or AR) continues to grow as brands take a more interactive approach to marketing. Such initiatives don’t only allow consumers to more fully immerse themselves in a brand and its offerings, but can even bring consumers into brick-and-mortar stores to experience a brand IRL. Indeed, this level of tech is what young consumers have grown to expect from their retail experiences, and brands continue to serve it up.


Coca-Cola’s latest marketing initiative allowed consumers to view augmented reality stories on the Coca-Cola app when users directed their smartphones at a can of Coke. This AR project was a collaboration between the soda giant, Ogilvy Mexico, and production company VFX house Timber. There are 12 different stories users can view, all of which involve relatable characters experiencing a conflict that is solved by sharing a Coke. Some of the vignettes include kids playing on a beach when their ball gets deflated, a couple spilling their popcorn during a scary movie, and rival soccer fans going head-to-head in a drum-off—all before bonding over a can of Coke, which saves the day.


Luxury automaker Mercedes-Benz offered fans a sporty AR experience at the 2019 U.S. Open, where participants entered a virtual tennis lesson that was taught via a recorded video of tennis champion Sloane Stephens. The AR experience started when the user stepped onto a mock half-court tennis court, faced a tv screen that shows them on camera, and gave the command, “Hey Mercedes, teach me to play like Sloane.” This activated a coaching lesson, giving the user the chance to practice on a virtual court. Although no Mercedes vehicles were in sight at this activation, the experience allowed users to interact with MBUX, Mercedes’ new in-car voice input system.


For the opening of its first North American flagship store in New York, Puma debuted an AR experience that was specifically designed to promote the brand’s new line of basketball shoes. Shoppers can use Puma’s smartphone app to photograph QR codes tagged on the display shoes of seven of the new sneakers, which unlocks content involving the brand’s Puma mascot, including allowing users to take selfies with the feline. This AR experience will be a part of Puma’s new brick-and-mortar experience until January 2020.