Make AR an Integral Part of Your Out-of-Home Advertising Strategy

Revolutionize the way you connect with your audience

Out-of-home (OOH) advertising has long been a marketing staple, providing a way to capture the attention of people as they navigate their daily lives. But as the advertising landscape evolves, so must OOH strategies.

Augmented reality (AR) is redefining what’s possible in the world of OOH advertising, offering marketers and advertisers a powerful tool to elevate campaigns and engage audiences in new and innovative ways. And with web-based augmented reality (WebAR), brands can power AR everywhere through the browser, with no app download required.

Let’s explore why AR should be an integral part of your OOH advertising strategy and how it can revolutionize the way you connect with your audience.

Enhance engagement

Traditional OOH advertising relies on static displays, but AR introduces an interactive element that captivates and engages audiences. By overlaying digital content onto physical environments, AR transforms billboards, posters, video and other OOH mediums into dynamic, immersive experiences. By engaging users through immersive AR content, brands can create memorable interactions that drive customer action.

For example, Vodafone, in collaboration with &AND Innovation, captivated residents in eight German cities with an innovative WebAR experience and social campaign. Using 8th Wall’s technology, Vodafone transformed physical OOH displays, which can often blend into their surroundings, into unforgettable interactive experiences that were tailored to each location.

The campaign extended to social media, with CGI videos illustrating the WebAR experience to prompt users to the physical billboards. By scanning QR codes on these billboards, users could launch a 360-degree experience featuring 3D virtual emojis, balloons and popcorn. The experience introduced competitions with instant and grand prizes, such as smartphones, laptops and TVs. Participants were then prompted to visit their nearest Vodafone store to redeem their prizes, seamlessly bridging the campaign to physical retail locations.

With an impressive reach of over 50 million people and 17,000 minutes of active brand engagement, the campaign demonstrated how AR can create memorable experiences and increase customer interaction, with 40% of participants visiting a Vodafone store.

Drive conversions

Incorporating AR into OOH campaigns fosters higher conversion rates by engaging consumers in memorable interactions with products and services.

For example, BON V!V Spiked Seltzer collaborated with WebAR agency Aircards to launch an engaging AR advertising campaign in Los Angeles and San Diego. By incentivizing users to scan QR codes on murals, customers accessed a virtual vending machine where they could select their favorite flavor of BON V!V Spiked Seltzer.

The experience also included a custom-branded map, guiding users to nearby stores carrying the product, and an ecommerce integration with Instacart for immediate purchase and delivery. The ability to incorporate custom-branded maps in AR provided a direct pathway for users to nearby brick-and-mortar stores, streamlining the customer journey from interest to purchase.

This campaign efficiently drove direct conversions to brick-and-mortar locations, minimizing the steps to conversion, with users spending an average dwell time of 2 minutes and generating a 58% clickthrough rate to find the nearest store.

Boost brand impact and reach

Combining AR with OOH advertising can expand your brand’s impact and reach, creating shareable experiences that extend beyond the physical world. Brands can leverage AR’s immersive qualities to connect with audiences on social media platforms, amplifying campaign visibility.

Pixel Artworks collaborated with Aircards, Unreal Game Engine and Outernet London to launch “The Butterfly Trail,” a mixed-reality experience that raises awareness for butterfly conservation and reinvigorates efforts to protect natural habitats.

Visitors engaged with the WebAR experience through the botanical workshop and glasshouse using their smartphones, eliminating the need for additional apps or devices. Users could scan the QR codes to activate the “Metamorphosis Machine,” a skills-based slingshot game featuring real-time animations, and interact with virtual butterflies using a WebAR hand-tracking feature.

In its first month, the experience attracted over 653,000 visitors, with more than 56,000 engaging with the AR game, averaging a dwell time of over 2 minutes. The experience also generated over 28 million views on Instagram and TikTok. This campaign helped raise awareness for butterfly conservation, showcasing how AR can boost brand impact and engagement.

Create unforgettable brand experiences

Augmented reality offers brands the opportunity to create memorable and interactive experiences that capture the attention of audiences on the go. This technology allows brands to get creative, developing immersive narratives and engaging campaigns that capture consumers’ attention.

Coca-Cola Zero Sugar introduced “#TakeATaste Now,” a groundbreaking AR giveaway and nationwide DOOH (digital out-of-home) campaign in collaboration with Tesco Group. Leveraging 8th Wall’s hand-tracking technology, the campaign was the first commercial campaign to allow users to “grab” a digital bottle on their mobile devices.

By scanning a QR code on OOH screens, participants could engage in a real-time 3D experience, then receive a digital voucher for a 500ml bottle of Coca-Cola Zero Sugar or its Cherry variant at Tesco stores. The campaign, which was live across the U.K., including on London’s iconic Piccadilly Lights, marked the first time consumers could control large digital screens using their mobile devices.

The unforgettable AR experience also offered participants the chance to earn gamer points and enter Coca-Cola’s major giveaways, showcasing the power of AR to enhance brand engagement and create memorable customer journeys.

As OOH advertising continues to evolve, AR offers marketers and advertisers a unique opportunity to create compelling and immersive campaigns that stand out in a crowded landscape. By adding AR to your OOH strategy, you can enhance engagement, boost creativity, increase brand recall and drive conversions.

Diana Mendez is the content marketing manager for 8th Wall at Niantic, the leading development platform for web-based reality content (WebAR and WebVR), where she oversees the marketing and public relations initiatives of the company and its partners.