Advertising. It exists to tell people who might be interested why they should buy something. We use media to reach them and develop creative to inform them and make the reasons as compelling to consume as possible. The goal for advertising has always been to explain who we are and this is why you should buy this product. Technology is changing everything and making way for new possibilities. The next big technological shift in advertising may be in augmented reality.
The technology offers advertisers to pose a new question to their audiences. Instead of answering the question of why someone should buy. We can answer the question of what if this was part of my life. Augmented reality offers a visual glimpse for consumers.
Augmented reality is already making its mark and encouraging users to ask what if this looked like this or that looked like that. What if is a powerful question for consumers to ask themselves because the next logical step to seeing what it’d be like is making it happen.
What If in Action
The Whole Story Project uses augmented reality to place statues of famous women where they should be, such as Central Park, where no statues of women exist. It answers the question of what if we honored America’s women heroes in the same way we do men.
After Ice uses a phone's GPS and camera to show what an area will look like in 2080 should NASA’s global warming projections come to fruition. The app doesn’t tell people what will happen. It lets them see “what if” it happens and it makes the potential risks more tangible.
New Technology Serving Up New Questions
New technology shouldn’t mean creating a new means of delivering the same type of messages. It has the potential to offer much, much more. It can elicit new emotions, spark new questions and approach consumers with brand messages they’ve never really thought of before.