The Power of Empathy through Augmented Reality
In our immediate, on-demand, and personalized digital age, people are incessantly bombarded by ads coming from every direction. The good news is that cutting-edge technologies such as Virtual and Augmented Reality (VR and AR) and even 360° immersive video have helped transform advertising and journalism. Together they help brands cut through the background noise, and connect with consumers in resonant ways.
Why do these types of campaigns resonate so deeply? The answer is simple! These interactive digital campaigns drive empathy.
Technology is only a small part of this equation, however. We’ve seen this before! Empathy has always played a crucial role in producing powerful content. It offers powerful storytelling and instills trust in brands.
Even though AR and VR experiences offer a new vehicle to elicit empathy, campaigns require real connection to drive their messages across. Real People provide authenticity and connection to this medium. Where the novelty of interacting in new tech quickly fades, emotional stories told by Real People leave a lasting impression.
An amazing example of combining experiential technology with Real People was realized in the Hogarth Worldwide campaign for Excedrin in 2016. “The Migraine Experience,” cast by GENUINE: The Real People Company, used augmented reality to recreate the visual expression of having a migraine to loved ones, thereby sharing the emotional stress of sufferers with those who care.
After winning several Lion awards at Cannes in 2016, Hogarth and GENUINE did it again in 2017 with three new spots that similarly combine mind-bending VR with heart-wrenching Real People stories. By featuring real life relationships and intimacy, both campaigns elicit empathy through emotional storytelling and an exciting new digital experience.
While there is no telling exactly where VR and AR will lead in the world of advertising, one constant remains clear: Real People and their real stories will remain crucial to brand storytelling, augmenting high tech with deep emotion to encourage trust and human connection.