As the technology to create augmented reality and virtual reality (AR/VR) experiences has improved exponentially over the past few years, we’re seeing brands make the most of this new way to engage with their consumers. For influencer marketing, AR/VR campaigns represent an opportunity for creators to collaborate with brands through unique and innovative methods. As brands look to connect with their audiences through influencer marketing, AR/VR campaigns involving or promoted by creators provide entertaining or informative interactive experience. These latest marketing tactics help companies rise above the noise of other more conventional ads online. This blog will explore 5 of the most unique AR/VR campaigns that brands have run and where creators have played a role in shaping them.
Adidas – TERREX VR
One of the major draws of virtual reality is allowing people to experience activities they normally would have no opportunity to. Adidas capitalized on this theme to promote TERREX, its outdoor gear line. With the help of two extreme athletes and creators Ben Rueck and Delaney Miller, participants were able to simulate one of the most challenging climbs along the Delicatessen route in Punta du Corbi, Corsica. I was saddened to learn that pastrami was not involved in the Delicatessen route, but after watching this video I don’t believe salty deli meat would pair well with death-defying action sports. Nevertheless, for Adidas, this campaign was an exciting and unique method of connecting with its consumers.
Most virtual reality experiences are made to be enjoyable for the participants. GSK took a different approach with the Excedrin Migraine Experience, providing an empathetic lens into what it feels like to have a migraine. For those whose loved ones are afflicted by migraines, this ad campaign incorporating VR was an innovative way to learn more about the debilitating experience and gain a new perspective. As someone who experiences migraines, campaigns like this showcase how AR/VR can not only be an effective marketing tool but also help people connect with those around them on a deeper level.
Lowe’s – Holoroom
Large retail brands have made their foray into the AR/VR space in an interesting way. One of the more innovative examples is Lowe’s Holoroom. Using a VR headset, consumers are able to access a design tool that allows them to not only visualize their DIY project in in-store showrooms but also be given detailed instructions on how best to complete it by store associates. One of the coolest parts of Holoroom is that it was also leveraged for internal employees. The company used Holoroom to educate and train employees on in-store equipment, giving them the “tools” (pun intended) they need to best assist customers. After the initial success of Holoroom, Lowe’s partnered with Microsoft to transformed the experience into HoloLens which offers more customization features for consumers and the ability to share their designs online.
Snapchat – A.S.L. Alphabet Lens
While Snapchat is a social platform, it is also a brand and I believe this deserves a mention on our list. Many modern AR/VR campaigns leverage fantastical visuals or quirky characters to promote their brand, and Snapchat has paved the way for AR innovations on social media for years. Snapchat’s ASL Alphabet lens shows us just how valuable these new technologies can be in ways we may not have considered. Created by an internal Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing Snapchat team who call themselves the ‘Deafengers’, the ASL Alphabet lens allows easy access to learning sign language in an engaging way. Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing creators like @jacelyn_fincher, have promoted the lens on Instagram emphasizing its importance in spreading awareness of the Deaf community. Similar to the migraine experience, this use of technology is a win-win to promote Snapchat and help others connect with those around them.
Mucinex & IHeart Radio – #BeatTheZombieFunk
Sometimes AR/VR is used in prolific ways to progress society, and other times it’s just for fun. And that’s okay. The recognizable Mucinex booger creature, also known as Mr. Mucus (I’m laughing as a write “booger creature” on a professional blog), was brought to life on TikTok through an AR experience in collaboration with IHeart Radio. On the surface, this seems like a goofy gag, but in a metaphorical sense, it is so much more. This campaign is like a case study of modern marketing in that it has a mind-boggling amount of integrated facets. Its massive success can be attributed to the following aspects of the campaign and should serve as an example for brands of a truly integrated influencer and social media marketing strategy:
- Celebrity endorsements: Allison Holker & Stephen “tWitch” Boss
- Multibrand collaboration: Mucinex & IHeart Radio
- Multichannel distribution: TikTok & Instagram Reels
- Sweepstakes giveaway: $1000 or a VIP experience awarded daily
- Hashtag challenge: #BeatTheZombieFunk
- AR experience: feat. Mr. Mucus
- Dance challenge with original sound
- Paid and organic influencer collaborations
Creators will continue to play a pivotal role in the AR/VR space. Mr. Mucus just might become the next Kylie Jenner on Instagram. All jokes aside, Mavrck is excited to be at the forefront of establishing more authentic connections between brands and consumers, be it in the physical reality or the virtual one. You don’t have to love everything about the sustained growth of advertising, but these campaigns show us that there is a silver lining: it’s getting really fun. The growth of AR/VR technology will continue to push brands into creating more entertaining experiences until it’s difficult to differentiate advertising from entertainment. But does it matter if you’re having fun?