Augmented Reality – A Marketer's Primer

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If you’re looking to stay slightly ahead of the Digital Marketing curve and wondering if virtual worlds like Second Life are going to make a comeback, Augmented Reality could well be "what’s next" and a huge skip past virtual worlds.

What is Augmented Reality? According to Wikipedia: "Augmented reality (AR) is a field of computer research which deals with the combination of real-world and computer-generated data (virtual reality), where computer graphics objects are blended into real footage in real time. The term is believed to have been coined in 1990 by Thomas Caudell, an employee of Boeing at the time. At present, most AR research is concerned with the use of live video imagery which is digitally processed and ‘augmented’ by the addition of computer-generated graphics."

Basically, you can now use your mobile device or webcam to enhance (or add to) a real-world experience. Sounds very science fiction. It’s becoming very real.

While there will be advertising opportunities in some of these Augmented Reality environments, some of the initial marketing possibilities look to be either product placement or the actual creation and development of an Augmented Reality brand immersion. One of the more popular moves in Digital Marketing in the past few years has been away from the click (or action) and more towards a fully-immersive brand experience for the consumer. If that’s the case, Augmented Reality could well deliver on that promise.

Here’s a demo for an Augmented Reality game that features Skittles as part of the fun (errr… destruction) from YouTube: ARhrrrr – An augmented reality shooter:


  1. Augmented Reality can be used for a lot more than just games – we’ve created a prototype for Online Shopping called the Webcam Social Shopper that blends AR, Motion Capture and Social Media to help bridge the gap between offline and online shopping. You can check out information on our prototype here:
    For latest and greatest in AR you can also visit –

  2. Wow, I really like the Webcam Social Shopper that Matthew mentioned. If I was a venture capital firm I would be throwing money at you like its 1999.

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