When I hear the phrase “immersive experiences” I typically think about the concept of augmented reality. Upon further investigation, I realize that “immersive experiences” expand beyond real life interactions with consumers, but it can apply to how brands can connect to consumers online through a website. These consumers are engaged in a highly visual web environments where they can easily get lost by all the interactive features.
For instance, the Google Cultural Institute engages its visitors through a series of pictographs, informational blurbs, and other short and easy to consume material. Not only does this website help Google boost its brand image as a cultural provider, it gives consumers a place to relax and delve into history in the comforts of their own homes.
Another great brand “immersive experience” would be from Burberry’s bespoke tab on its website. Consumers have the opportunity to customize their own iconic Burberry jacket. This option gives shoppers a chance to make their own unique products. Car websites are known to have this kind of immersive experiences for its consumers, but it is more interesting to see how it works in the fashion industry.
As technology increasingly advances, so does marketing techniques. In this case, marketers have effectively invented novel ways to engage their audiences through augmented realities and immersive experiences.
This past summer I had an amazing opportunity to study abroad in Seoul, South Korea at Ewha Womans University. While I was there, I took an Introduction to Advertising course with Dr. Marina Choi of Korea University (formerly a professor from University of Texas at Austin).
One of topics we covered in class included the integration of new technology into advertising. For instance, we touched base on augmented reality and the effects on consumers. Dr. Choi gave us many examples of products that focused on augmented reality, but one that really stuck out was a video about Project Glass from Google.
While I was browsing through Mashable, I came across this article about Project Glass being released this month. I admit, the idea of Project Glass seems incredibly cool in terms of serious innovations in technology; day-to-day consumers would have the ability to interact with a variety of applications with something as simple as voice activation. Despite all of the cool things you could potentially do with the glasses, I’m not sold.
I’m a firm disbeliever in blue-tooth headsets. I’m sure that it’s convenient when you’re driving 60mph on a highway while taking a business call, but when you’re walking around doing errands that are probably irrelevant to what you actually need to do while you’re “on call” doesn’t seem appropriate… ever. The Google glasses appears to be an upgrade to what the blue-tooth headsets do: walking around while talking to yourself. I’m sure the glasses are intended to let consumers interact more on their social networks and become “connected” with everyone around them. But honestly, do you really need to stop a conversation on your coffee date to check-in? And how many times are you going to serenade your friend while you’re Skyping with him/her on the rooftop?
If our future is headed off in a direction where we’re all going to wear headsets that basically disconnect us with reality, then Project Glass seems like just the product to do so.
Augmented reality seems great conceptually, but I prefer experiencing real life without constantly being connected to technology.
P.S. They look funny too.