When rebrands go wrong

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Audi to transform all logos into AR triggers

Audi has developed its own branded augmented reality (AR) platform and hopes to turn all its vehicles and brand assets into AR triggers to provide consumers access to additional content and information whenever they encounter the brand.

Audi AR app

Initially the technology allows people to use the bespoke Audi Vision iOS app alongside Audi’s brochures to watch video content but the “ultimate aim” is to develop its capability to allow people to use it whenever they see an Audi to access videos and information in real time.

The images in Audi’s brochure will trigger the image recognition app and play content on a mobile device. It will also roll out across Audi’s print and outdoor advertising, POS, dealership materials and events.

Hugh Fletcher, Audi national digital manager, says: “When you buy a car you can hear the roar of the engine, you feel the leather, but sometimes our advertising doesn’t get that across.

“The interesting thing about the automotive marketing world is that we market a dynamic product but its often presented in a stationary formulaic format. If you think about brochures, we’re showing really exciting cars in quite a non-dynamic format and some really fantastic technology but we’re explaining it in static copy. There’s a lot that can be done to bring our cars and technology to life through content.”

Audi has previously used Blippar in campaigns and is applying what it learned from that to its own platform.

Fletcher adds that by developing its own AR platform it doesn’t have to “interrupt” its marketing materials with additional items such as QR codes to trigger AR content.

“As a premium brand we’re looking at really top end marketing. When you use a QR code or something they take away from the overall look and feel of the marketing. We don’t want to have to change our imagery to use the AR technology. We’re at a stage now where we’ve got the technology that can just recognise our images,” he says.

The app has been developed to be a long-term feature of Audi’s marketing strategy, not just a “use once and chuck it out” app, according to Fletcher.

Audi has worked with mobile agency Somo to develop the app platform, which is live in the iTunes store today (14 May). The app is understood to be made available on other mobile platforms soon.

Audi AR app

Readers' comments (6)

  • I think its a great app. I have used this app in one of my marketing apps and can vouch by the interactivity & dynamism it brings to the table. It enhances the outcome of the marketing strategy to a great deal if it is combined well with other mediums.

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  • Finally a car marketer wakes up to one of the many newer marketing communications tools that have been available for some wjile! Well done Audi and well done Hugh Fletcher.

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  • Is this really what customers want, or is this a vanity project? when was the last time anyone used augmented reality for anything other than a short term gimmick?

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  • Agree with the comment above, I'm still waiting to see an AR campaign which actually grows sales, or indeed has any kind of longevity passed the initial "hey that's cool!"

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  • I wonder if the AR experience will actually add value for a consumer. While brochures with images and copy are a static format, will presenting the images in a dynamic format really offer the consumer something different? Something more engaging? I would hope so. As Hugh says, things like the roar of the engine and feel of the leather, could be translated into an experience that adds value. Can I hear the roar of the engine compared to other cars in the segment? Can I compare multiple models in terms of cockpit view of the interior? Just some ideas that I would hope would shine through. Cheers to embracing mobile!

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  • Waiting for an AR campaign to grow sales? They are already out there. An AR online fashion platform that got over 100,000 users - a day, An AR furniture platform that has achieved 50% uplift in sales. A toy company that got 35% increase in Sales overnight.
    As ever, it is very easy to knock new technology but it is always good to have the facts first. Well done Audi, this is long overdue.

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