Immersive Packaging: The Next Big Trend in AR Marketing

Let’s explore the phenomenon of AR packaging: how does digital content influence the physical world? Step into the world of augmented reality technology transforming the customer experience, and see some of the best examples of immersive experiences.

Unlike virtual reality, which completely enables users to exist in the cyber sphere, AR technology connects digital and physical worlds by overlaying virtual information on the natural environment through smartphones, glasses or headsets. This gives brands from many industries extreme opportunities to create unforgettable experiences and enhance the customer journey. It’s more than just a product. Here’s why packaging experience shouldn’t be underestimated.

The needs of today’s customers are completely different from what they used to be: the thing your target audience wants to see is the thought and intention behind the product, the energy or ‘vibe’ it can bring to their life or image – and the unboxing experience is a crucial vibe check, especially for Gen Z.

What is AR Packaging?

Augmented Reality (AR) packaging is a cutting-edge concept that transforms traditional product packaging into an interactive and dynamic experience. The simplest way to explain this concept is to describe it as additional, digital features based on target tracking (an AR feature identifying real-world images for accurate overlay of digital content), transforming the physical environment through mobile devices. It’s an interactive enhancement for the customer’s journey, filled with 3D animations, games, or product information overlaid on the physical packaging.

The goal of the experience is to increase the customer’s interaction time with the products and strengthen the relationship with the brand. AR packaging not only adds an element of entertainment but also serves as a powerful marketing tool, allowing brands to communicate their message by engaging the user to interact with the experience.

Benefits of AR Packaging

To think about the benefits of any marketing ideas, we have to ask ourselves: what are the expectations of the customers? Who are your customers, and what’s important to them? Nowadays, most innovative advertising is targeted at Gen Z, the youngest part of the market with particular needs.

So how can we describe them? As a generation raised with technology, digital solutions are an incredibly important way of communication. Gen Z fights with overconsumption, betting on inclusive, transparent brands that take care of the environment, stay away from problematic behaviour and represent a community they’d like to be a part of.

So why is AR packaging a good idea?

Enhanced Engagement

As we already mentioned, AR filters are one of the best ways to increase UGC (User-generated content). At a time when most of us have access to smartphones or tablets, giving users additional opportunities to interact with the product, share it on their social media, and let others leave comments, allows brands to quickly reach new crowds and gain more visibility. And as we all know, with the effort to provide entertainment, comes brand loyalty.

Ecology

During the no-waste lifestyle’s peak, reducing the need for additional printed waste is especially important for Gen Z customers. Physical packaging is already a big ecology issue, and adding new, physical features to each product would only increase the pollution. AR packaging can contribute to sustainability efforts, aligning with the growing consumer demand for eco-friendly practices. Take for example all the instructions you unbox together with each appliance you purchase – lots of people nowadays would prefer to receive it digitally and visualizing them with AR can both simplify and enhance the setup process.

Unique experience

In such a competitive market, brands constantly need to seek ideas to stand out. AR packaging sets a product apart from others on the shelf: it provides a unique selling point that can attract consumers and create a memorable impression. At the same time, it’s easy to use and something that users are already familiar with, making it the perfect tool to attract customers.

Team Groente Hakkers
by knorrnederland

Pizza Box AR
by verdy

Accessibility

AR packaging experiences can be easily distributed and accessed globally through mobile devices, making it a scalable and accessible tool for brands to connect with a diverse audience. Such advertising is available to every customer all over the world, allowing them to connect not only with the product but also with other users.

Adaptability

AR packaging is adaptable across various industries, from retail and cosmetics to food and beverages, providing a versatile solution for brands looking to enhance their products with technology-driven experiences. What’s also important is that brands can use many different Augmented Reality features and completely adjust them to their needs in a unique way.

Types of Augmented Reality features

Augmented Reality has a lot to offer, but how exactly do brands implement it in their packaging experience? Technically, most often the effect is based on target tracking, which then activates other features like plane tracking, games, or animations – the possibilities are endless.

aesthetic

The first thing that comes to mind is improving the aesthetic value of the packaging, which we see a lot in Dior’s campaigns. The luxury brand became the absolute expert in bringing the packaging to life through the most wondrous effects filled with magical features, gaining the approval of users all over the world.

Christmas
by dior

Make your box alive
by diorbeauty

It’s also the perfect way to express the nature of your brand: whether it’s Cornetto with its intense taste, shown through the animated flames, or Kenner’s futuristic vibe with a 3D, holographic model of the product, augmented reality has proved to be an irreplaceable visual tool.

Cornetto Dragon
by cornettoit

Rakka box
by kenner

Made for Dad
by armanibeauty

Gamification

As always, gamification is an important feature that shouldn’t be overlooked in Augmented Reality. People love challenges, so why not make it accessible to all customers? Pringles encourages customers to interact with the packaging by creating a fun mini-game. All that’s needed is a mobile device with a camera lens, a box of Pringles and Voilà – the perfect connection of physical and digital environment!

Scorchin
by pringlesus

Click here to read more about Gamified AR Filters

Information

But let’s not forget about the pros of informative and educational features. If there’s anything you’d like to tell your customers about the product, we promise you: Augmented Reality is far more engaging than a piece of paper. Brands like Lemme or Mac Cosmetics are sharing the characteristics of the product through interactive experiences.

All the user needs to do is to click on the screen, and the requested information pops up when needed. It’s not only good for the brand: with the AR filters, customers can make more informed decisions, and educate themselves on the subject, which can be a significant factor in increasing confidence in the brand.

Lightful C3
by maccosmeticssg

Lemme Glow
by lemme

The future of AR packaging

The trend of immersive packaging is relatively new, but already getting a lot of attention. Experts are predicting its growth in the market in the coming years, especially considering the increasing customer demand for personalized and unique experiences.

This creates opportunities for innovative collaborations between brands, artists, and developers, fueling the AR market growth, and leading to the creation of new solutions, such as creating an already popular connection between AR and AI, further exploring the possibilities of technology. Many brands are already recognizing the potential of interactive, digital features, and we can expect many more of them to follow in the coming years.

Embrace innovation – be one of the first to take advantage of the growing trend, allowing your customers to experience your products and services on a whole new level.


Are you interested in other ways of implementing Augmented Reality into your marketing? Contact us – we have an idea!

worth the attention