- Jaguar Land Rover enlisted augmented reality (AR) technology to provide an in-vehicle tour of its latest SUV. The AR feature, developed by U.K.-based Blippar, appears after clicking on a banner ad while using Android phones or Chrome and Firefox desktop browsers. An iOS version will be available in the next six months, Campaign magazine reported.
- The AR feature shows the view from within a Range Rover Velar SUV while using a smartphone camera. It doesn’t require the installation of a separate app, which would have been a “clunkier process,” Taylor Hoel, media specialist at Jaguar Land Rover North America, told Campaign.
- Blippar, a tech firm based in London, and WPP’s Mindshare North America created the AR campaign for Jaguar Land Rover, which is the first company to use the technology. Dan Eckrote, director of planning at Mindshare North America, said the campaign is designed to help users explore the vehicle and drive orders for when the car goes on sale in August.
Banner ads have been derided since the internet became a marketing medium more than 20 years ago, and the development of mobile media has only highlighted their intrusiveness on smaller smartphone screens. Ad viewability in the U.K. dropped to 47% in Q1 2017 from 49% just three months earlier, according to a study by ad measurement firm Meetrics, which attributed at least of the decline to the growth in mobile display advertising. Other European countries showed similar declines, the study found.
The AR feature opens to make a smartphone user feel like they are inside the car using the phone’s camera to look around. By giving the app permission to use the smartphone’s camera, the mobile user can look through the car’s windows at real-life surroundings. The novelty of Jaguar Land Rover’s AR ads may help to spur more clickthroughs. Ariff Quli, chief commercial officer of the Americas at Blippar, said its AR banners give marketers a way to try out the technology without spending a lot of money on software development for apps. However, integrating AR into a banner ad potentially creates a more intrusive experience for users as it asks them to stop what they're doing, click on an ad, approve its access to their camera and then finally engage in the AR experience.
Blippar's attempt to breathe new life into banner ads via AR sounds interesting and could appeal to marketers who are intrigued by the technology. But for now, AR is still in the early stages of experimentation. Major companies like Facebook, whose founder Mark Zuckerberg has sought to create a technology platform that draws the creative efforts of other developers, see promise in the new tool. What that means for marketers is still not entirely clear, considering that Facebook has a growing focus on video- and photo-sharing that relies on the technology of other companies like Apple and Samsung to deliver ads to target audiences.