Augmented Reality campaigns are a massive success for their newness. They add oomph to otherwise regular content ideas with visually appealing and interactive elements. For new and emerging brands, taking inspiration from people’s all-time favorite ads can be a lot of learning. It is the way forward in ideating and executing viral augmented reality advertising campaigns.  

21 best augmented reality marketing campaigns that went viral

Top companies are already doing great with innovating AR ideas across their business application, leaving a FOMO to the smaller counterparts. So, let us look at the examples of 21 AR Ad campaigns and what made them so popular. They could be the beginning point for you to plan and integrate Augmented reality in marketing campaigns you plan hereon. 

1. IKEA: Place a Tree on It (2017)

In 2017, IKEA leveraged Augmented Reality to launch innovative Christmas AR campaigns. Using the IKEA Place app, they allowed users to preview IKEA Christmas trees in their own homes, just as they could visualize IKEA furniture. 

Users opened the app and pointed their phone cameras around the room to use the feature. When focused on the floor, the AR capabilities scanned the space. Users could then select between different IKEA tree options and drag and drop the 3D tree in their desired location. 

2. Pepsi MAX: Unbelievable Bus Shelter (2014)

Pepsi MAX engineered an innovative Augmented Reality experience for London commuters. Using AR, they transformed ordinary bus shelters into interactive portals. Commuters approached what appeared to be a normal glass wall at select locations. However, when they looked through, they could see a live HD video feed layered with 3D animations, made to look like the real street behind the bus shelter. This incredibly convincing AR idea generated over 2 million online views and more than 24,000 shares in just 7 days.

3. “Ravan” AR Idol – A Cultural Event (Dussehra Diwali Dhamaka)  

The Association of Indo-Americans (AIA) wanted to promote India’s rich heritage to the Indian American community in the United States. So, they partnered with PlugXR to recreate the 25ft. Idol in 3D and AR. The goal was to increase footfall at the event. The idea was a great success. People could take photos with the “Ravan” idol in AR. It was a thrilling experience. Surpassing the 15K expected footfall and attracting over 40K visitors was a great success.

Ravan” idol in AR - augmented reality campaigns PlugXR

4. Pizza Hut: AR Menu Experience

In this campaign, when customers scanned the images through the app, they unlocked fun interactive features ideal for group pizza nights. Users could access a family Trivia Challenge game, browse an engaging AR menu, and place orders directly through the app. By implementing this innovative idea, Pizza Hut created great value for customers. 

5. Lacoste LCST: Augmented Reality Retail Campaign (2014)

Lacoste’s LCST brand developed an augmented reality app with foot-tracking features. When users scanned Lacoste icons embedded in promotional materials, they could digitally “try on” different LCST shoe styles. 

As users viewed 3D models of the shoes on their own feet, they could also access engaging branded content. By implementing this AR idea, Lacoste could deliver an immersive, personalized product viewing experience to over 15,000 users. 

6. Stockholm is your Canvas (2015)

Stockholm Art Week launched an innovative Augmented Reality campaign to showcase Stockholm’s vibrant art scene. They developed an AR app that allowed anyone to submit their artwork for the official event catalog. 

By scanning Stockholm Art Week symbols, users could view surprising AR artwork and installations that came to life directly on their phones. It exposed the city’s thriving creative community more by allowing anyone to display and share artwork digitally. 

7. The Walking Dead Scary Shelter: Zombies Attack

The fifth season of “The Walking Dead” saw an innovative out-of-home installation in Vienna, Austria. A tram stop in the city’s 7th district was turned into a “Scary Shelter” using Augmented Reality. Within the bus shelter, a live video feed of the street played. 3D zombies could be seen overlaid onto the real-time footage, making it appear as if a zombie invasion was taking place right outside the bus stop. 

8. KIKK Festival 2018 AR art exhibition

Since its launch in 2011, the KIKK Festival has championed digital and creative cultures through its events in Namur, Belgium. For the 8th edition of the festival, organizers incorporated augmented reality to blend physical and digital experiences. 

Alongside 20 indoor and outdoor exhibitions throughout the city, the festival featured 7 AR art pieces that attendees could only view and interact with through mobile devices. Visitors could experience these digitally enhanced installations by pointing their phone cameras at designated locations, revealing virtual artwork overlaid in real environments.

9. A/R Jordan’s social commerce experience

Decades after Michael Jordan’s iconic career, the Jordan brand still enjoys tremendous popularity but faces the challenge of appealing to a new generation unfamiliar with seeing “His Airness” play. 

For the 2018 NBA All-Star Weekend, the digital agency R/GA tackled this obstacle by developing an Augmented Reality experience on Snapchat that paid homage to Jordan’s legendary 1988 Slam Dunk Contest. The innovative AR filter allowed users to interact with a virtual recreation of MJ’s iconic foul-line dunk, bringing the historic sports moment to life. 

10. Marwen AR mobile app

This app uses Augmented Reality to bring scenes from the movie “Welcome to Marwen” to life. Users can project 3D scenes from the movie onto any flat surface and view them from different angles. They can take pictures with the virtual scenes, share them on social media, and learn more about the characters. Blending digital effects with the user’s physical environment created a personalized experience for the fans. 

11. OREO AR Scan image emits music

OREO’s augmented reality ads for the Vietnamese New Year used image tracking to trigger traditional Vietnamese music when users scanned their packaging with their phones. This unique AR marketing campaign blended culture and technology to amplify customer engagement. It created a memorable experience for the Vietnamese during an important national holiday.

12. Comfort AR gift box

Comfort used Augmented Reality ads to create an interactive experience for Vietnam’s 2020 Tet holiday live-stream concert. By scanning a QR code on Comfort gift boxes, users could view AR animations showcasing new Comfort products and get interactive digital effects. 

This innovative use of AR enhanced Comfort’s branding and amplified the value of its products, creating an imaginative, multi-sensory experience that deepened connections with customers.

13. Communication Channel 14 AR game series #Covydidi

The “Ms. Vy Stay Away” campaign on TikTok became a popular and effective initiative during the COVID-19 pandemic. It included 14 consecutive viral challenges that addressed various pandemic-related issues like diet, medical advice, handwashing, and more. 

It incorporated the creative “#Covydidi” AR game filter, making COVID-19 education interactive and personalized through AR technology and driving engagement among TikTok’s young audience. 

14. Tik Tok Scan AR card at the Tik Tok Awards Vietnam 2020 event

TikTok used AR to create unique and interactive event invitations, reflecting their focus on creativity as a collaborative process. The customized AR experience displayed 3D golden trophies and special effects for each recipient, setting their event apart and imaginatively honoring their community.

15. Absolut Truths (2012)

Absolut Vodka launched an innovative app to immerse consumers in the product’s origins. Users could scan the neck hangers on Absolut bottles or download the app from their website. It triggered an immersive 3D tour of the quaint Swedish village where Absolut vodka is produced. As users explored the virtual village, they learned about the step-by-step vodka production process and received a free drink recipe. 

16. John Lewis: Man on the Moon

To promote its “Man on the Moon” Christmas campaign, John Lewis partnered with Stinkdigital to create an augmented reality app experience. When users point their phones at the Man on the Moon image featured on John Lewis shopping bags and packaging, an interactive 3D moon appears on their screens. 

17. Mandiri & WWF: Saving Rhinos

An augmented reality game was created in Indonesia to raise awareness about the critically endangered Javan rhino. With only 55 Javan rhinos remaining, the innovative AR game aimed to engage the public and promote conservation efforts. Users had to register for Mandiri e-cash by pointing their phones at a Mandiri ATM card. It triggered a virtual rhino to appear that they could care for. By donating to the app, users could unlock food, medicine, and other treats to nurture their virtual rhino back to health.

18. Burger King: Burn That Ad (2019)

Burger King devised an ingenious augmented reality ad in Brazil. They integrated a feature in their app that lets users scan competitors’ ads and virtually “burn” them, crashing the ads in an interactive AR experience. As an added incentive, users who activated the AR ads earned a free Whopper sandwich.

19. Lynx: Angels Will Fall

To boost excitement for their Lynx Excite fragrance (known as AXE in some markets), the company orchestrated a clever two-day marketing stunt. Virtual angels were projected onto giant digital screens in London’s Victoria Station and Birmingham’s New Street Station when commuters stood on designated spots marked “Look up.” 

20. TG Mag Extra: Augmented Reality Magazine (2011)

The December 2011 issue of Top Gear Magazine integrated print and video in an innovative way using augmented reality ads. Their covers and content were brought to life through interactive AR experiences. This issue went on to win the Editor’s and Reader’s Choice awards at the FIPP awards ceremony. Over 8 issues featuring AR technology, Top Gear Mag generated 50,000-100,000 views per issue, achieved a 27% engagement rate, and saw click-through rates reach 25%.

21. New look AR campaign UAE

Recognizing the high mobile usage in the UAE, UK fashion brand New Look decided to leverage the trend in the Middle East. New Look developed an AR app targeted at students. It allowed users to scan their loyalty cards and access special offers and interactive content. This innovative mobile app drove strong engagement, with users spending an average of nearly 7 minutes per session in the app. 

Key Takeaways

These 20 best AR campaigns are perfect to take inspiration from for your next augmented reality marketing campaigns. If you want to add a virality factor to your marketing and sales ideas, plan on adding augmented reality in advertising content. It adds magic to your otherwise great content so that it performs 10 times better, amplifying sales and conversion. Start with the no-code PlugXR platform to have the edge over the competition.


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