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HCP Social Media Advertising Blog Series: AR vs VR

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Advertisers are looking for new ways to reach consumers on social media for the holiday season. We all see and use the usual ad formats (single image, multi-image carousel, video, etc.) on at least three major platforms (Meta, Twitter, LinkedIn). (If you’re not using these platforms, you’re missing out on an opportunity to reach your target audience..) However, in today’s blog post we’re going to cover a new emerging advertising format: Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR).

AR is by definition 25% virtual, doesn’t require a head device, and is in the context of the real world. Michael Kors’ recent campaign is a great example of his AR marketing in action. We designed an ad that allows users to try on sunglasses and try different lens colors before purchasing.

VR, on the other hand, is by definition 75% virtual, requires some kind of head device, and is a completely fictional world. For example, Meta brings Halloween to life with their product ‘Meta Quest’ (a VR headset). They’ve partnered with filmmaker Eli Roth to take users into his VR experience of his 180-degree horror house. Meta also has his new four-episode “Scream Park” miniseries in VR staring Grace Van Dien from “Stranger Things.”

As you can see, we have some new and exciting things to test and use in the social media marketing space. But what platforms can AR and VR be used on?

Platforms that currently offer or offer AR solutions are Snapchat, Facebook (Meta), Instagram, Pinterest, and TikTok. The most common way brands use AR in social media is by creating filters. For newcomers to social media marketing, filters are photo effects that can be used while the photo is being taken or applied to the photo before the user publishes it. A filter can be as simple as placing a logo in a bordered corner, or it can be event-specific, such as placing a user’s face on the body of a team playing in the Super Bowl.

Regular carousel, banner, or video ads are great for getting users to click and gain awareness of your site and brand. However, what AR advertising can bring to your marketing plan is increased customer engagement, increased brand awareness, and video and brand virality. I think it’s new to most brands and users in the healthcare industry, but this is where we can get creative and think outside the usual banner and video ad boxes.

Switching gears to VR, one of the biggest players in the space is Roblox. Roblox is an app that allows users to play various games, create games, and chat with other users online. Gaming, social media and social commerce all rolled into one. Brands such as Nike and Gucci create cities, or “lands,” that allow users to interact online, play games, and create avatars wearing Nike and Gucci products. Did.

Wendy’s Restaurant leveraged Meta’s Horizon World Platform to create a Metaverse restaurant where users can walk behind the counter and interact with each other while enjoying delicious adventures. A few differences that make VR more impactful than AR is the ability to completely capture the user’s attention when they are in the virtual world and interacting with the brand. VR not only tells stories, it also lives them. VR brings brand stories to life right in front of your eyes, letting you experience your brand before you buy it.

Both spaces offer significant benefits for brands, especially within social media channels. In a nutshell, AR doesn’t require a headset, it’s inside the real world, and it can be used in a wide variety of apps when it comes to filters. VR requires the user to have a headset, takes place in a composed world, and has several apps and platforms to deliver the experience. Either way, augmented and virtual reality are both becoming staples of social media marketing, and it’s exciting to see what pharmaceutical companies can do with it.