Augmented Reality in Marketing

It’s no secret that mobile is a key media channel for marketing. Consumers, not only use their phones to call or text, but also to watch videos, play games, check social media sites and download apps. But 2013 showed that this consumer behavior, has allowed for marketers to develop new ways of reaching consumers through advertising. According to the Business Insider, mobile advertising has increased from $1.4 billion in 2011 to $4.1 billion in 2012, and is projected to grow to $7.3 billion in 2013, with the bulk of spending being directed to iOS platforms. All mobile ads are not equal and there is diversity in the way mobile is used as a marketing communication channel. Mobile ads can be interactive, take over the user’s screen, fun, entertaining or highly targeted. With so many options on how to reach customers with so many mobile options – it would seem that the age of mobile advertising’s peak has been reached – or has it?

Despite its’ promises of high market value, augmented reality may seem like a foreign concept to introduce to a mobile marketing campaign. However, augmented reality and mobile marketing are very much related. Both are based on a consumer’s behavior and location, in the effort to make a consumer’s life easier by allowing for increasing ability to interact with the world around them. Augmented reality is also more user friendly than other interactive mobile marketing techniques such as QR codes, since augmented reality doesn’t require a reader of any kind – just a user to move their phone across an area. What are the results of an augmented reality campaign? A luxury watch company Tissot, launched an augmented reality campaign in which consumers could try on their watches virtually. When the campaign was tracked it was found that in-store sales increased by 85%.

Augmented reality marketing campaigns can go in many directions – the goal of an augmented reality marketing campaign is to keep the consumer’s “entertainment value” while providing useful tools. A few ways to do this are:

Help the consumer with geo-targeting: This method harkens back to the original apps using augmented reality by helping consumers to find points of interest via their location. The brand Stella Artios has a Le Bar augmented reality app that helps users find a bar with their beer by populating you phone with arrows on how to reach the nearest Stella vendors.

Show consumers what they need: Online shopping can be a challenge for consumers. Many times when purchasing online a consumer can’t get a good idea of what an object will look like on them until they receive it. Converse shoes uses an augmented reality iPhone app to help combat that issue. The app, a free download, allows a consumer to “try on” shoes before you buy them in-store or online. When a consumer has found a shoe that they like – they are then able to click on a “buy” button which directs them to a mobile optimized website for purchase. If the shoes are purchased through the augmented reality app, the consumer then receives free ground shipping.

Expand consumers’ perspectives: Other mobile marketing techniques that play with print tend to be static and non-dynamic, but with the use of augmented reality, there is the ability to enhance printed materials with new digital interactions. The most current example of this is the 2013, Ikea catalog, using augmented reality. When a consumer comes across a section of the catalog with a phone symbol on it, they then hold up their phone to the catalog and are able to see inside the furniture, optional layouts of the room and even the different colors an item comes in. The Ikea augmented reality app helps to simulate a similar experience that one would have in their stores – looking at a display room and then exploring further within it.

With almost every mobile device available on the market coming with internet, and app capabilities, marketers within the mobile advertising space now have the opportunity to create a user experience that helps to make a user’s interaction with the advertisement easier. Augmented reality when used to guide, enhance or give new perspective to a consumer is when it is the most successful. As the mobile market and usage grows so will augmented reality.

Trends for 2013

2013 represents a new year for not just individuals, but industries as well. In the print media industry, as we all know, things are constantly changing – so what will be the trends and changes for the industry in 2013? I give my top 5 picks in no particular order.

The Actual Practice of a Buzz Word

Cross Media Marketing – it is the buzzword that got thrown out a lot in the past couple of years in the print media industry. However, 2012 was the year when consumers really saw the applications of it come to them in full force: for example, the Chick-fil-A add campaign that blew up marketing blogs and Forbes Magazine. Chick-fil-A did this by sending out a direct mail piece to loyal customers using a PURL that drove these customers to Facebook that captured more information and received a special promotion. After that information was captured, customers could share the promotion with their Facebook friends and encourage new people to sign up. The results? Increased store activation or loyalty cards by 104% (Incubator, 2012).

From Chik-Fil-A
From Chik-Fil-A

With the success of this campaign in 2012, you can bet we will be seeing more of this in 2013.

Pantone Everything….

Pantone announced in December 2012 that Emerald green was to be the color of the year in 2013, but the presence of the company has expanded much further ( The popularity of the company and Pantone products really entered the market place in 2012. From the cellphone cases in Urban Outfitters to the new eye palettes just released by Sephora for 2013 – Pantone is turning into less of a color system and more of a marketing tool for larger chains. With the rise in customization in everything else, why wouldn’t someone want to have their own Pantone color just for them?


Get ready world, Pantone is no longer for print geeks, it’s for the mass market now.

Things Will Get Wider

EFI, one of the world’s leaders in wide format inkjet technology, during a showcase “highlighted the enormous potential growth opportunities in color digital printing for display graphics, predicted to grow by 20% year-on-year, and for digital label printing with 35% growth” for 2013 (Francis, par 3). As need for personalization grows even more in 2013 the use of wide format inkjet will increase. These printers allow for the single one stop shop digital system that includes finishing – an amazing addition for turnaround and those looking to get into wide format production (Francis, par 5).

From EFI
From EFI

Everyone Gets the Luxury Treatment

With the rise in digital magazines and open access to well designed publications online, one might think that the days of the printed book are over. That may only be half true. As digital publishing grows, really beautiful luxury printed books will rise. Luke O’Neill, author of the graphic design book, Computer Arts Collection, was quoted as saying “In 2013, I think there will be continued experimentation with print techniques and innovative finishes to really enhance the experience for the consumer who still likes to hold something in their hands” (Carney, par 13). Recent publications, like the graphic novel, Building Stories by Chris Ware offer just that experience to readers by incorporating multiple pieces of printed materials to make a unique story (check this book out it is AMAZING).

From Smithsonian
From Smithsonian

You Must Respond

In 2013 there is one thing everyone can count on – more digital devices. Whether it is iPhone version 55 or a new monitor, we are going to have more ways to look at cats online than ever before. That is why responsive design for media devices will become more important than ever (Qayyum, par 4). In combination with multi-touch campaigns, this trend will blend across multiple platforms.

From Creative Blog
From Creative Blog


• Carney, R. (n.d.). Design trend predictions for 2013 | Design | Creative Bloq. Creative Bloq | Your daily dose of design tips and inspiration | Creative Bloq. Retrieved January 18, 2013, from
• (2012). Chik-fil-A. Incubator, 3, 30.
• Francis, J. (n.d.). EFI showcases product roadmap at Connect. Print Week. Retrieved January 18, 2013, from
• Johnson, P. (n.d.). Chick-fil-A Introduces the Next Hot New Trend in Marketing – Forbes. Information for the World’s Business Leaders – Retrieved January 18, 2013, from
• Pantone. (n.d.). Pantone. Retrieved January 18, 2013, from
• Qayyum, A. (n.d.). Six Expected Web Design Trends in 2013. Free Online Resources For Developers, Designers and Photographers @Smashing Hub. Retrieved January 18, 2013, from
• Sephora. (n.d.). Pantone Universe + Sephora. Retrieved January 17, 2013, from

Why Superman Should Have Kept His Day Job

Superman quit his day job last October. In protest to the “state of modern journalism”, Clark Kent has decided to hang up his press pass at the Daily Planet (Huges par 1). I am all for career changes even of fictional characters – the man has been working there since the early 1950s, so why not a change? However, in his exit speech Mr. Kent did say something that continues to nag at me – he states, “Times are changing and print is a dying medium.”

As many in the print industry will tell you times are changing but print is certainly not a dying medium. In January 2012, a white paper by InfoTrends predicts a steady increase in the print industry into 2015, with the most growth to be seen in packaging (O’Malley par 3). Let’s also not forget the growing popularity and applications of textile print either – I encourage you to read my previous post, Revolutionary Textiles.

Superman at Barnes & NobleFor those who still are not convinced, take this real world example. When working at my job as a marketing strategist, almost every client meeting I had began with someone telling me – “ I want an all digital campaign” and ended with them ordering a printed piece. Looks like that print is still sticking around. Even the mighty Mr. Kent is having a hard time shedding himself of it – since as you can see from the image he is still sold in print, in Barnes and Nobles, at a newsstand. Kind of ironic isn’t it? I guess I should support his new ventures as an online blogger and download his latest comic to my iPad for half the price.

Hughes, Mark. “Superman quits The Daily Planet – over the state of journalism – Telegraph.” – Telegraph online, Daily Telegraph, Sunday Telegraph – Telegraph. N.p., n.d. Web. 28 Nov. 2012.

O’Malley, Donna. “Printing Industry Stabilizes Amidst Modest Economic Growth and Technological Advancements.” Welcome to InfoTrends Inc.. N.p., n.d. Web. 28 Nov. 2012.

Consumer Perception of Inkjet Printed Textiles – Abstract

Finally you all are able to have access to my thesis!! Here is the abstract:

Digital inkjet printing for textile printing represents a key development in clothing production. The application of inkjet printing for textiles follows the trends within both the printing and textile industries in regards to the demand for personalization in order to gain consumer interest and buying power. There has been much research done in the hopes of getting inkjet printed textiles to the public on a mass scale. however, very little is known regarding the consumer of their preferences when it comes to the image quality, look, and feel of digitally printed textiles. This study attempted to address this problem by finding out such preferences from not just the consumer but also the buyer of merchandise, specifically that of the boutique market, for clothing stores. There were two methods utilized within this experiment. The first is the use of structured interviews of boutique owners within the high end boutiques of Rochester, NY to find out what their general feelings on fashion, clothing and print on demand textile options are. The boutique owners were interviewed for approximately 30 minutes through the use of a formatted structured interview. The second part of this experiment dealt with the image quality preferences of the boutique owners and observers, that fell within a specific set of criteria outlined by the researcher, for inkjet printed textile samples. The observers were asked to rank order the different inkjet samples according to preference of image quality, tactile feel and for specific applications. This part of the experiment took approximately 30 minutes for the observer to complete and followed an experiment outline. It is through the qualitative and quantitative data gathered by both parts of the experiment that the researcher has attempted to answer the research objective, ‘what does the consumer prefer in regards to image quality and feel of inkjet printed textiles?’ The findings of the experiment show that the consumer is highly aware of the image quality within their clothing and specifically favor textiles with high OBAs and tighter weaves of fiber. Depending on the application of a shirt or a bag the observer showed that tactile feeling is more important to the observer for clothing but image quality standards are willing to be lowered when dealing with accessories such as the bag as long as the sturdiness of the textile is acceptable.


If you would like to know more about my thesis you can find the RIT library link here. A digital copy is available for download through RIT as well. Please keep in mind my work is copyrighted.