Augmented Reality Marketing and Advertising 2018

Augmented Reality Marketing and Advertising 2018

Adding Virtual Value to the Real World

Executive Summary

Though the term “augmented reality” (AR) was coined in 1990, the technology is only now hitting its stride. The breakout success of Pokémon Go in 2016, and innovative ad formats popularized by Snapchat, have piqued the interest of consumers and brands alike. Now, marketers in a variety of industries are experimenting with new applications of AR.

How is augmented reality different from virtual reality?

AR is often lumped together with virtual reality (VR), but they are distinct technologies with different use cases. Unlike VR, which requires specialized headsets and places users in virtual worlds, AR involves overlaying information on real-world views and is accessible via everyday mobile devices.

What is driving augmented reality development?

The 2017 introduction of Apple’s ARKit and Google’s ARCore software development kits (SDKs) has signaled the tech industry’s confidence in—and future support of—AR experiences. This has spurred brands, developers, startups, agencies, platform companies and publishers to accelerate activity.

What devices support augmented reality?

The availability of AR on smartphones is bringing the technology into the mainstream. However, AR will eventually be experienced via glasses or headsets that can potentially provide better user experiences.

How soon before augmented reality advertising becomes mainstream?

AR advertising will grow quickly over the next several years. It is currently dominated by social media companies—including Snapchat and Facebook—which are aggressively building out their offerings and measurement models. New self-serve options, which are relatively easy to experiment with, are easing AR adoption among both brands and consumers.

How can brands get the most from augmented reality?

Brands that want to make their AR experiences “stick” long term will eventually need to pivot from novelty to utility. Winners will use AR to meet their audiences’ specific needs for information, convenience and entertainment.

WHAT’S IN THIS REPORT? This report examines the current state of the augmented reality (AR) market, and AR’s growing use in marketing and advertising.

KEY STAT: Global AR advertising revenues are expected to grow quickly over the next five years. One recent forecast anticipates a jump from $428 million in 2018 to $2.6 billion by 2022.


Victoria Petrock


Caroline Cakebread
Junior Analyst
Chris Keating
Research Director
Debra Aho Williamson
Principal Analyst