I remember testing out QR codes for clients 3 years ago when considering if we should include them into a few campaigns. None of them went for it, the main problem was that such a small percentage of mobiles were compatible with the QR code application, plus no phones actually shipped with the reader installed meaning that you would have to get the user to download something before they could even interact. This didn’t sit well with any brands and eventually all talk of using them vanished from future projects.

Fast forward to today and isn’t it funny that Augmented Reality has exactly the same problem, but brands and advertisers are going absolutely nuts for it?

I’ve always steered clear of making someone download an application to interact with advertising (excluding typical iPhone apps). It’s no secret that drop off rates are increased massively when you throw in a download. We have App Stores now to make that process a lot easier along with unlimited data plans which¬†eliminate¬†cost concerns for the users. But as super duper as it is, I still have a niggling feeling about AR.

The Esquire Augmented Reality issue was really innovative but the reader has to take the magazine to the PC, download some software, then use the webcam. On your phone it will be the same sort of process, whenever you see a marker on a billboard, print or online ad you’re gonna need some software to interact.

There is no doubt that the sheer richness of what Augmented Reality can do is what’s driving it at the moment. It’s got the ‘wow’ factor no question and that goes a long way..for a while. What remains to be seen is if brands can see a return on the extra investment that’s needed for producing AR campaigns and how consumers react to the initial process.

I guess what I’m waiting to see some stats on how AR campaigns do compared to QR codes. Both have almost identical requirements when a user sees the advert and doesn’t have the app.

Will consumers go that extra step with AR and download applications everytime ? Or will it end up like QR codes and just linger around until something better comes along?

Would appreciate any thoughts on this.