Phygital: the Usage of a Powerful Marketing Tool
In a highly competitive world, the key point is to stand out.
As a global PR agency, we often face requests for a non-standard approach and unique experience. While companies compete for consumer attention and loyalty, we offer them symbiosis of traditional and high-tech tools, says the Head of AVELA agency Kate Kuznetsova. In this article, we are going to discuss one of the most trendy marketing tools — phygital.
What is phygital and how to use it in your marketing campaigns?
Phygital marketing merges not only two words (physical+digital) but also two worlds of both physical and digital experiences. Virtual reality is integrated with the physical one thanks to AR (Augmented reality) /VR (Virtual reality) technologies and interactive touch screens.
Augmented reality (AR) is the combination of digital experience with the user’s environment in real time.
Virtual reality (VR) is the use of computer technology for creation of simulated ambiance.
The major advantage of phygital is a high involvement in interaction with the brand and a wow-effect. All these factors shape the public interest in the company and its products. Particularly glowing campaigns make people share content with their friends and colleagues. This solves the problem of increasing brand awareness.
Business areas use AR/VR technologies for different purposes. Retail simplifies the purchase and selection of items by introducing a virtual fitting of clothing. Luxury brands maintain their image and highlight cross-promo projects with VR-technologies. Banks use high-tech tools for educational goals: teaching employees how to interact with clients through VR glasses, explaining complex blockchain technologies via VR format.
Now let’s look at relevant examples of how brands are using innovations in their marketing and communications campaigns.
NBA commissioner Adam Silver has introduced a new app that will enable basketball fans to scan and replace a player in a match. These new features will allow sport lovers to enjoy a live game streaming experience.
Adam Silver showed how to utilize this new app on the legendary host Ahmad Rashad, he scanned and inserted him into a Utah Jazz game.
‘You will be inserted into the game, you’ll be making all the same movements [the NBA player] was, but it’ll look like it’s your body,’ — Adam noted.
Virtual fitting has its roots from the COVID-19 Pandemic. As we can see, it’s being developed even when the situation has stabilized. Online shopping is getting more popular among customers. To meet the need for convenience, brands create non-standard custom experience paths.
Fashion brand CHOUX collaborated with Zero10 — the leading digital fashion platform providing AR technologies for brands. Now, fashionistas can try on any clothes without leaving home and take funny pictures in stylish outfits.
One more stunning example of using augmented reality in the fashion industry — it-developers from Vancouver have created a prototype app that will allow users to try on sneakers from home. It’s especially suitable for those who doubt the color or model of shoes.
Another way to implement modern technologies in the fashion industry is to make creative collaborations with brands or people. A luxurious French house chose a non-trivial way of cross-promotion.
Louis Vuitton uses AR in its latest project with renowned Japanese artist Yayoi Kusama. The campaign was created using Snapchat’s Landmark lenses: by opening the app, users in big cities like Paris, London or New York can find the brand’s page and choose the landmark in front of them to see the artist’s iconic dots covering the sights.
The Snap’s head of luxurious comments on the collaboration: ‘It’s a way for the Louis Vuitton and Kusama teams to show the bridge between online and offline; they’re digitally painting their dots on top of the real world’.
The retail industry uses AR/VR solutions more actively than any other spheres to meet the demand for digital experiences. Among other prominent examples, we can note Gucci’s virtual town on Roblox platform, AliExpress stores with VR elements and H&M’s metaverse shop.
Shopping malls keep up with clothing brands, especially in high-tech cities like Dubai. Recently, Majid Al Futtaim, the UAE’s famous mall, has announced the launch of the first virtual mall, called the Mall of the Metaverse. It will offer visitors digital experiences in retail, entertainment, and leisure. Customers’ avatars will be able to enjoy different brands like Carrefour, Ghawali, Samsung Store, etc.
Filmmakers promote their series in a thorough and creative way. It is important to stand out and attract viewers to the project. One of the latest examples is a series based on the cult game. Have you guessed it? It’s The Last of Us.
At the moment, The Last of Us is breaking all records. This is not surprising given the sophisticated tools of promotion of the series. For example, AR filters released on the Snapchat platform have grabbed the attention of users. They can transform any city into a location captured by an epidemic.
Obviously, in the near future, phygital will play a leading role in marketing strategies of big governmental and commercial companies. This is due to the fact that such technologies involve the audience and place it at the center of marketing communications, offering a completely new, overwhelming user experience.
According to recent market research, the global market for AR and VR is expected to reach a market value of more than 451.5 Billion by 2030 (in comparison, it attained $22.6 billion in 2021). Don’t hesitate to consult marketing experts in order to become one of the technological leaders.
Retail, entertainment, media, healthcare, manufacturing, and defense are the fields where analysts expect a rapid growth of using AR and VR technologies. By geographical distribution, the market is divided into North America, Europe, Asia-Pacific and Rest of the World.