WEB & TECH / APR. 14, 2014
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Augmented Reality: Pepsi Max's Innovative Bus Stop Ad

We are bombarded with numerous advertisements on a daily basis whether they are in the form of billboards, television commercials or online advertisements. We are all even partial to seeing bus stops adorned with the odd ad or two, but Pepsi Max’s augmented reality ad which received 4.7 million views on YouTube in less than a week takes traditional advertising to a whole new level.

Commuters at the New Oxford Street bus stop were startled, amused and confused to see objects like flying saucers, a hurtling meteor and a giant robot. Unaware that they were being filmed by a hidden camera which captured their reactions as they inevitably figured out that the bus stop was rigged.

Pepsi Max has demonstrated a new way of captivating its target audience with this ad. As digital content and technology are set to be an increasingly present factor in our lives, there is no doubt we will be seeing even more use of sophisticated augmented reality technology in advertising. Watch this video to see how AR can be used as a unique advertising tool.

What is Augmented Reality?

Augmented reality (AR) is a form sensory manipulation based upon virtual, forward thinking and technological advancements.

Augmented reality uses computer generated manipulation of an actual psychical environment where computer generated video, sound and visual images are also used to create a stimulated virtual reality. AR is designed to trick the user into believing that what they are seeing is real by combining a virtual reality with actual reality.

How else is Augmented Reality Being Used?

Oculus Rift is another example of how AR is being used the company which manufactured the device was recently acquired by Facebook for $2 billion dollars. The social media platform intends to use the Oculus Rift device to utilize AR technology and create an advanced, interactive virtual world for its 1.23 billion users. Initially the device was intended for use within the gaming industry. Oculus gained momentum and financial support via Kickstater, however, its recent acquisition means that the company will now be a part of a futuristic, social media revolution with the help of AR.

AR technology is also being tentatively used in conjunction with smartphones (apps,) and tablet devices. Using AR, tablet devices will identify actual objects, and then load similar images and videos of the object onto the device. The technology has drawn a lot of attention from leading marketers who are keen to harness AR’s marketing capability for their brands and services. Growing interest in AR from this aspect demonstrates that Pepsi Max’s utilization of the technology for marketing purposes can be highly successful and entertaining for consumers as well. From a consumer perspective, AR will offer a new engaging way of being able to interact, customize and potentially be able to virtually engage with advertised products.

The Layar app is also being hotly tipped as being an enhancement of the Google Glass. Using AR the app enables the Glass wearer to search for and display information directly via the device. By enabling individuals to merely use their devices to search for things in this way AR browsers will revolutionize the way in which we currently use these devices. As this technology slowly becomes integrated into our daily lives - we’ll see more, commercial advances of AR in years to come.

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