Is “offline” marketing making a comeback?

Is there a trend that pushes advertiser to (re)consider “offline” marketing?

Recently I have seen more and more discussions & articles around Augmented Reality, especially since Facebook is now letting anyone creating an AR experience .

But Augmented Reality is not a new thing!  It’s been around since a long time (since the 90’s to be specific)  but it was more of a geeky thing, mainly used in the gaming and entertainment industry, and never really took off. People didn’t really know what was the real added value and the technology was certainly very new and not widespread.

Until Snapchat came, With its playful AR lenses. Snapchat really democratised AR and gave brands in multiple industries the opportunity to “entertain” their audience with Sponsored lenses.


Snapchat Lenses has been really attractive to Advertisers, it gave them an “edge”, particularly those established brands, trying hard to be cool and reach the Gen Z.  They went from “ How can we prove the ROI of Social Media”, which pushed the platforms to be stronger in their tracking and measurement capabilities, to “I know my daughter is on Snapchat, I want to do a  Snapchat campaign”…. euh sorry, what?!

Being on Snapchat was the new cool thing brands wanted to do, even though their audience was not on Snapchat. The level of tracking and measurement on Snapchat was nowhere near as robust as what the other digital platforms could (worked very hard to ) provide. Yet, budget was invested in the platform!

Augmented Reality can obviously enhance customer & brand experience, but the ROI of AR is yet to be proven, or even considered…

Snapchat also has Shoppable AR Lenses. They entertain the audience but also let them shop directly from the platform, with a Swipe! A space to keep an eye on…

What makes advertisers considering more Augmented Reality over Digital Advertising?

  • A crowded and increasingly expensive online space
    • As the competition for the newsfeed ( Facebook & Instagram) is increasing, ad space is becoming more and more expensive. Advertisers would have noticed an increased CPM recently
  • Data laws and Algorithms regular changes are requiring businesses to constantly adjust and revised their strategy, which cost time and money.
    • Facebook constantly changes its algorithm to prioritise the user experience in the News Feed, which means that marketers have to constantly adjust. So far they didn’t really have any other options but to adjust…. This might change.
  • Value brand experience over marketing
    • Investing in branding, brand experience, instead of marketing has the potential to increase lead generation, brand advocacy, and sales. Augmented Reality gives the opportunity to brands to invest more in their customer’s experience.
  • Scale 
    • AR is going mainstream with hosts of startups entering the field to make it affordable for the masses.


“By augmenting digital marketing, brand experience has the potential to increase lead generation, brand advocacy, and sales, and can even make customers feel more valued.”

Freeman CMO Chris Cavanaugh

But what about measurements?

Byron Sharp, in his book “How Brands Grow” has challenged how marketers have been measuring brand growth in the past, according to him, they made it more complex than it needs to be.

For Byron Sharp, “MENTAL AVAILABILITY + PHYSICAL AVAILABILITY” is the secret sauce for a brand to gain market share.

But digital marketing got us stuck into measuring metrics instead of the real impact of advertising on brands.

Maybe measurement of Augmented Reality is simply irrelevant….

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