Augmented Reality is a technology that is having something of a hard time being taken seriously by both marketers and the general public. It’s an innovative piece of technology stuck in a gimmick rut. Not to mention the fact that there is a somewhat high barrier to engagement with the print, webcam, technology combo that is required to make the process work.
Some of the best AR campaigns are those that create something truly unexpected. To do this it requires activating the augmented aspect outside of a user sitting in front of their laptop (where the experience is somewhat watered down by having to hold a paper marker in your hand).
The WWF (World Wildlife Fund) opted for a simple yet innovative use of AR technology in its latest Moscow-based campaign to raise awareness of the plight of the Siberian tiger. The charity developed a special t-shirt that would react in front of a webcam-enabled mirror within retail destinations. When standing in front of the mirror the t-shirt triggers an animation that fires a bullet through the wearer, complete with video game style blood splatters.
The campaign was designed to make a wearer feel the experience of being hunted, and it certainly produces a level of shock value. Interestingly, in an era where most people have been desensitized when it comes to gore, the campaign appears to have had a major impact, with thousands of petition signatures gathered as the campaign spread across social media.