- Orangetheory Fitness, the gym chain with more than 1,100 locations worldwide, next week will release an augmented reality (AR) experience in Fargo, North Dakota, to promote its affiliation with the Wonder Woman Run Series, per an announcement shared with Mobile Marketer. Gym members and prospects will be able to point their smartphone cameras at coaches, insignias and signage at the race to trigger training tips, videos, ads, logos and holograms on their mobile device.
- A scavenger hunt will enter gym members and potential customers into a raffle to win memberships and prizes.
- The AR experience will run from next week through June 30. The Wonder Woman Run in Fargo includes a nighttime 5K race on June 28 and 5K, 10K and half marathon on June 29, per its website. Imagination Park Technologies created the AR experience for the event.
Orangetheory's AR experience for the Wonder Woman Run in Fargo shows how the immersive technology is evolving and getting into the hands of small- and medium-sized businesses, including franchisees of national chains.
"Most business wouldn't consider running an augmented reality campaign as they expect it to be too technical, complex and highly expensive," Alen Paul Silverrstieen, CEO of Imagination Park, said in the statement. In a few years, however, AR marketing will be commonplace among a bigger group of businesses, he added.
AR ads have shown strong performance results, such as conversion rates ranging from 20% to 80%, Allison Wood, CEO and co-founder of Camera IQ, told Adweek. The immersive quality of AR ads leads to greater recall while giving consumers greater control of the experience. She estimated that AR advertising will make up 10% to 25% of digital ad spending by the end of 2019, as the format has moved beyond a "pet project" for marketing research and development and into programmatic platforms that let brands scale AR ads to reach more consumers on mobile.
Worldwide spending on AR and virtual reality (VR) is forecast to rise 69% to nearly $20.4 billion in 2019, per researcher International Data Corp. Hardware, such as specialized headsets, will make up more than half of all AR/VR spending, followed by software and services. While the retail industry will be one of the biggest spenders on AR/VR technology, per IDC, Orangetheory's latest adoption of AR for the Wonder Woman Run demonstrates that the tech is opening up to more industries for creative mobile marketing strategies.