Fonk Magazine AR edition

We’ve been featured in a new edition of the Fonk magazine 😱 The CEO of our company, Bram van de Ven, did an interview regarding the future of AR in marketing and communication. Read the article in Dutch by clicking on the cover image below.

FONK article arfected

You can read the full article below 👀

At Den Bosch-based arfected, everything is about immersive digital experiences. The young team has great knowledge and love for augmented reality and web 3.0, which makes them official creators and partners of Meta and Snapchat. This gives them early access to the latest AR features across multiple social platforms, which enables them to take AR experiences to the next level. Numerous brands large and small have discovered their expertise and are now taking full advantage of it. arfected’s founder Bram van de Ven didn’t hesitate for a moment to answer our questions. 

Can we see 2022 as the year when VR & AR really broke through?

Looking at the Dutch customer: yes! They have been able to watch the impact of VR & AR on international campaigns over the past few years. Well-known brands such as Ralph Lauren and Tommy Hilfiger have been betting big on AR for some time now and are making the filters on Snapchat and Instagram increasingly prominent in their marketing statements. In addition, the target audience increasingly understands the functionality of AR and knows how to engage with the filters. Now that Dutch brands are realizing that filters can spread like an oil slick and allow them to reach a very large target group, they too are switching to using AR in their campaigns.

What are the most talked-about VR/AR cases of 2022?

Schermafbeelding 2022-11-10 om 15.25.38

In collaboration with BNNVARA, we were able to create a very cool project for ‘het Nachtkastje‘. In an educational way, boys who are attracted to boys can follow a sex lesson through an AR experience that includes consent for the first time, a short biology lesson. By placing the experience in your own environment with AR, the target audience can experience this lesson in a safe environment like their bedroom. Also, we see that with AR the information is better absorbed and sticks better. With this innovative approach to sex education, we have won a nomination for the Best Social Awards. In addition, the experience turned out to be so successful and important that we can start working with the next letter of LGBTQ+!

Virtual store

A bit of a cheat, since we didn’t launch this project in 2022 – but the behind-the-scenes we’ve made some upgrades this year that are noteworthy! Together with Spark, a telecom company in New Zealand, we developed a virtual shopping experience designed that look and feel like a real Spark store. The experience is the first of its kind in New Zealand and was created using architecturally, accurate modeling and innovative interactions across the store. For example, you can click around the latest Samsung devices, view them from all angles and even adjust the device’s colors. Behind the scenes, we have developed a technology that allows us to read visitor interests. Those interests are used to fill the store according to your personal preferences, this makes it completely dynamic.

SPARK x arfected: Virtual Store

The British Tate Museum

Then the case for the British Tate Museum; unique because art is a sensitive subject. What can and cannot be modified/animated/dressed in AR? Tate took the plunge and offered an interactive, virtual layer over existing artworks. From a cat jumping out of a painting to an artist stepping outside her own work.

Tate x Spark AR: The Virtual Wing 

The British Tate Museum

Also special Breonna’s Garden: a great case because it revolves around visualizing heavy emotions such as grief. At the same time, it also gives a nice glimpse into the trends brought up about by AR/VR such as virtual fashion, virtual humans and holograms, among others.

Breonna’s Garden

What are key developments that will break through in 2023?

One of the most popular forms of AR are filters on social media. However, we are now seeing more and more applications of AR appearing that live beyond phones and beyond social media. Think of an interactive mirror in a store, where you can try on different fashion items. Or a photobooth where you can layer the craziest AR elements over your photo that react to the facial expressions of you and your friends. 

Schermafbeelding 2022-11-08 om 15.31.57

During my visit to AWE in California, I saw a lot of providers of AR wearables, or AR glasses. For them, large-scale adoption of that hardware is still very much awaited, as now very few people want to walk around with such glasses. THAT is probably going to change the moment Apple gets involved – they say they are going to introduce new hardware in 2023. That’s hopefully going to create enough momentum that these glasses can catch up in a big way. We are also seeing AR playing an increasing role in brands’ marketing campaigns. Not only is more budget being made available now that AR has proven itself as a medium, but it is increasingly becoming the focal point within a campaign. Now that Meta and Snapchat have added the mo capabilities to deploy AR filters advertised, brands can target their filters in a more targeted way, creating engagement with the right audience. Using AR triggers the user’s brain in a whole different, impactful way anyway compared to scrolling through your Instagram feed: the experience really sticks. We wrote a blog about it ourselves.

Where can marketing organizations make a difference in VR and AR in 2023?

‘Include AR/VR in the brainstorm for an upcoming campaign. We still too often see brands knock on our door at the very last minute to create a quick AR filter. If this is considered earlier, AR can be more central to the marketing campaign and we can help think through best practices for the concept and make it seamless to the campaign goals. The functionalities of augmented reality are expanding all the time, so you can’t think of anything or we can make it happen. What bears/falls do you see for marketing organizations down the road? ‘Don’t deploy AR/VR purely ‘for the sake of deploying a new technology,’ but make sure it really adds value. There are already thousands if not tens of thousands of AR filters created, so make sure you don’t become a copy of other AR filters, but provide a unique touch. Just because one idea has been successful does not immediately mean that a copy of it will be just as successful. AR/VR remain exciting fields, where a lot is happening and technology is developing at lightning speed. But that doesn’t mean you should immediately slash the entire 2023 marketing budget to dive into AR/VR. Start small, study the results carefully and take those learnings for the next, bigger campaign or idea.’