For my dissertation, the chosen subject matter was to showcase how augmented reality can improve consumer engagement with brand advertising with a focus on printed advertising. This was achieved by creating an artefact, a printed poster for a fashion brand (of my conception). This poster is augmented reality enhanced. When a user interacts with the poster through a smartphone camera, the poster will animate with motion graphics to further convey more information to the viewer. Effectively portraying how augmented reality technology can improve consumer engagement. This artefact was created using found research as an example to prove the chosen subject matter.
As a graphic designer, when approaching a new project, you often ask specific questions. How can we best showcase this brand visual identity? What is the best visual solution to this problem? What is the correct way to communicate the client’s products and services to their audience? Naturally, emerging technologies are intriguing to graphic designers, pushing boundaries and being aware of emerging design trends to stay relevant is increasingly important within the creative industry.
This need to push boundaries and remain relevant also relates to brands and how they interact and communicate with their audiences through advertising. In recent times there has been an ever-growing decline in print advertising and a rise in digital. This decline in printed media is mainly due to the rise in smartphones’ popularity, pushing more and more advertisers to choose digital communication forms. Now, with the global pandemic Covid-19 pushing more and more people to work from home, adapting to work, interacting with families, friends and colleagues through the use of screens. The need for brands, companies and organisations to capitalise on digital forms of communication to advertise their products and services is sure to grow.
Brands will need to find new and exciting ways to engage their audiences and create more meaningful consumer-brand experiences. Print design and media have a long and crucial history in graphic design. However, it is currently vital to design for digital platforms. As a graphic designer, as much as there is a need to innovate for the future, there is an obligation to carry on past graphic designers’ great work and find new ways to keep print design and printed media relevant. Brands can still harness the immense power that printed media holds.
By integrating it with augmented reality technologies, print can always have a role to play in the future of digital brand advertising. By researching into the augmented reality processes needed to be able to create an Augmented Reality Hypermedia (ARH) advertisement (a form of visual communication which mixes printed media with digitally augmented reality content), this paper aims to show how ARH can be used as an effective form of brand advertising. This will be achieved by researching the processes of branding, brand visual identities, brand advertising, and augmented reality technologies. The result of the research will be the creation of an ARH brand advertisement poster artefact. Aiming to answer, if augmented reality can increase consumer engagement with brand advertising?
What was discovered, was that augmented reality does increase engagement with printed brand advertising as it enables the user to be involved and become a part of the advertisement. But, the printed ad itself still needs to be engaging enough for the user to choose to start engaging with the augmented reality content. So in conclusion augmented reality only adds further user engagement, once the user has already been engaged by the printed advertisement.