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A Ripple in the Virtual World — Augmented Reality and Its Discontents

Recently there has been a rash of cautiously critical opinions in the advertising blogosphere about augmented reality. Commentators at Advertising Lab...

Ruben Sun
Ruben Sun on June 4, 2009.

Recently there has been a rash of cautiously critical opinions in the advertising blogosphere about augmented reality. Commentators at Advertising Lab, and Supercolider all believe augmented reality to be this year’s “Second Life”: over-hyped, under tested, and, at worst “disposable eye-candy”.

We fully acknowledge the potential for this technology to be merely an addition to the marketer’s arsenal of gimmickry. And, also see that there are still many kinks to iron out with it: the process of getting AR to work with your home computer/webcam can be cumbersome, and even when you’ve got it to work properly, you’re oftentimes peeking around a sheet of paper to see the generated image. Yet, in the right context, AR executions can add an incredible layer of interest.

We previously reported on Mini and Lego whose AR ads enable a more intimate experience of the products’ scale.


Ray Ban and Coraline’s AR endeavors allow for a personalized experience of product communication.

Furthering personalized experience is a campaign Adverblog points us to that Doritos has launched in Brazil to promote their Sweet Chili Flavor: A Pokemon-style online critter collection game that is activated through AR.

Is augmented reality doomed for crashing the hype cycle? The verdict is still out. At present we’re still seeing a handful of interesting applications for the technology.

Thinking...