AR leaves consumers feeling smarter and boosts brand confidence


Augmented Reality, or AR, is revolutionising the way brands connect with consumers, allowing for stronger and more meaningful engagements.

A significant 80% of AR shoppers feel more confident in their purchase as a result of using AR, meanwhile AR leaves consumers feeling smarter and boosts brand perceptions such as intelligence.

These were two key findings from a new study Snap Inc conducted with Omnicom Media Group (OMG) that involved a multi-phased research framework through independent research agency, Breakthrough Research, in five markets (US, UK, CA, KSA, AU).

AR study

The study included the following phases:

  • Global quantitative study: utilising a cell-based design measured the incremental impact of a branded AR experience on brand metrics, in addition to vertical video ads. 5000 total participants were recruited (500 per cell per country)
  • Online diaries: measured consumer reactions to branded AR Lenses and tracked them over a 4-week period to understand longer-term impact on brand perceptions.
  • Implicit brand associations using Lexical Decision Task (LDT): provided a more robust understanding of AR’s impact on unconscious brand-building.

AR leaves consumers feeling smarter
In the quantitative study, using LDT, there was a significant increase in the responsiveness of consumers to words related to smartness, like brilliance and intelligence, once they have been exposed to both AR and Video ads of brands, suggesting strong unconscious brand associations in those areas.

These results highlight the potential impact of such associations on consumer behaviours when they leverage AR.

AR drives long-term brand impact

Additionally, when experienced multiple times over four weeks, AR has a lasting impact on consumer decision-making.

Brands that include AR experiences in their marketing campaigns consistently over the test period experienced greater improvements compared to their non-AR counterparts, with statistically significant increases in metrics like brand opinion, purchase intent, and recommendation intent over the four week diary study.

AR complements existing video buys

AR has the potential to influence consumer relationships with brands at every stage of the marketing funnel, from increasing familiarity to driving purchase intent and generating advocacy.

Hence, by creating relevant touch points within the consumer journey using AR, brands can power-up their existing video content and create shareable shopping experiences.

AR novices crave novelty, AR veterans demand it

For new AR users, the technology feels groundbreaking and novel, generating increased memory of ads in that format and increased relevance for the brand. They feel excited to use it.

In fact, repeat exposure to AR lenses can even reverse previous negative perceptions of a brand, offering fresh perspectives and opportunities for improved brand experiences.

While frequent AR users come to expect AR as an everyday part of their lives, especially in their comfort with brands that use it.

Inclusive AR executions empower connections with underserved segments

While excitement for AR is widespread, multicultural and LGBTQIA+ consumers feel less represented in AR campaigns. Brands should actively work towards bridging this gap by developing AR experiences that cater to diverse audiences.

Brands can create resonant AR experiences for everyone by avoiding pitfalls like cultural appropriation, stereotyping, and ignoring intersectionality, while ensuring inclusivity by collaborating with experts.

Commenting on the study Matt Salmon, Director of Sales, UK Large Client Solutions, at Snap Inc said: “AR adoption is growing at a remarkable rate with consumers increasingly expecting it in their interactions with brands.

This study clearly shows that brands that invest in AR and integrate it will reap the benefits of enhanced consumer relationships, increased engagement, stronger brand perception and crucially long-term brand loyalty.

Brands need to look at well established best practices, embracing inclusivity, and leveraging advanced AR tools.

Those that engage fully can realise the potential of AR and remain relevant in today’s rapidly changing digital landscape.”