Brookfield Properties is taking an innovative approach to the more than 100 shopping centers it operates across the country by partnering with The ARIA Network to offer augmented reality (AR) advertising inventory throughout its properties. The agreement opens up the virtual air rights in the common spaces of Brookfield’s shopping centers, giving exclusive access to over 150 million square feet across 42 states to ARIA, whose 360° AR platform provides a disruptive and compelling marketing opportunity for brands and tenants alike to leverage the virtual air space for branded content and advertisements accessible through shoppers’ mobile phones. Other possibilities of the platform include virtual store directories, wayfinding, immersive retail displays, and touch-free transactions.
Augmented reality experiences and ambient digital overlays are becoming increasingly more central to the retail industry’s future hopes, as well as the next-generation consumer journey. Companies like Google, Pinterest and Snap are focusing on the technology and producing immersive marketing solutions and features for consumers and brands around AR offerings. The technology offers one way retailers with a physical presence can differentiate themselves from online-only and ecommerce brands.
ARIA, which was founded two years ago, has seen its technology adopted in a variety of ways. The company’s augmented reality technology helped power the halftime show at the Super Bowl, and there are plans for the advertising platform to be introduced to more public spaces including music festivals, higher education institutions, and airports. Sitting on the company’s advisory board are impressive names in marketing and technology including David Bell, the former CEO of Interpublic Group; Raja Rajamannar, the CMO of Mastercard; and Antonio Lucio, the former global CMO of Facebook, now Meta.
The benefits of deploying augmented reality solutions to provide digital adventures and disruptive advertising options along the consumer journey include driving purchase intent, high conversion rates, and more activatable data collection. ARIA’s platform provides real-time insights into how shoppers engage with marketing material, what triggers conversion, and the content that resonates most. Brookfield hopes to better position its physical shopping centers to compete with digital-first storefronts through the partnership. Mall shopping is declining, and Brookfeidl sees ARIA’s augmented reality offering as a way to stir up interest for both its commercial tenants and consumer audience. As the 2021 holiday season approaches, ARIA will begin working to bring the common areas of Brookfield’s shopping centers to life with innovative experiences.
This article originally appeared in PSFK’s report, The Future of Retail 2042. For more information on emerging retail trends like ambient digital overlay, purchase the report here.