Brands That Use AR Aren't Creative.
We often see brands putting the cart before the horse by jumping onto AR as some magic bullet solution to creating engagement in their campaigns.
Issues arise when you use AR as a solution looking for a problem. A great sniff test for this is to see how much conversations around an AR experience revolve around buzzwords over constructing a story for a particular experience. For example, the current metaverse hype is causing a tsunami of terrible ideas from brands to force poorly thought out experiences at the cost of their brand.
People aren't dumb.
AR is still in its gimmick phase, similar to mobile apps back in 2009 when the most exciting app you had on your phone was a virtual beer and a lightsaber.
If your experience needs a phone camera, you've already lost.
Any brand engaging with an AR experience must be ready to innovate rather than following the same experience everyone else is doing. Brands, in general, have a very narrow understanding of what an AR experience can become.
Solving The Gimmick Problem With Utility
Augmented experiences need a purpose. More often than not, we see them just tacked onto some marketing gimmick without broader concern for why that experience would improve with some digital integration.
Generally, the best way to approach this is how brands approach every other facet of their end-user experience: with a well-researched understanding of what their customers find essential.
Augmented experiences should manifest as an outcome of creative problem-solving. These experiences should align with the expectations and desires of the end-user and empower your customers to overcome a barrier or challenge that otherwise would not be possible.
That said, don't swing too far in the direction of pure utility that you lose sight of the fun. Augmented experiences are not worth engaging with if they are bland.
Augmented experiences should always be compelling and never create more problems than they solve.