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Middlesex University Business School London MA Marketing Management January 2010 Intake.

MKT 4001: Contemporary Issues in Marketing.


Module leader Academic Group Name Assessment Date: 13th July 2010 1 : : : : Sephen Dahl. Marketing Manzil Madhwani (M00291693) Individual coursework.

Use of Augmented Reality on social media for interactive advertisement. Consumers attitudes towards use of this technology by brands. An exploratory research. Abstract: Augmented Reality is a technology in its babyhood and is growing fast at the present. It has various applications but is primarily used for fun, entertainment and advertisement. A lot has been said about the possible used of these applications for advertisements. It is not clear at this stage weather this technology will be able to break into the main stream media or not. It is the growing interest area for the developers, the future this technology holds in the marketing arena. This is an exploratory research study of the attitudes of people towards use of Augmented Reality based applications on the social media. It will try also to determine the ease of use of these applications as experienced by the users of the applications. Introduction to discussion platforms Augmented Reality and Web2.0: Augmented Reality (written as AR from now on) is a technology that combines the virtual and the real worlds together to enable the user to have enhanced views of the real environment. In simple words AR is a visualization technology that enables the user to see on a screen something added to the real world (Zhang, X., Genc, Y. and Navab, N., 2001). There has been significant research in the field of AR systems in past decade and applications of AR are discovered in sectors as manufacturing, medical, military and entertainment. A typical AR system includes a display screen, a camera with software to read a visual tag and this system reads the position of a visual tag and displays a virtual object in the display screen. There is a relation between the displayed virtual object and the real world. A visual tag is the relating factor between both the

environments and the position and orientation of the visual tag determines the display of the virtual object or 2

information (Zhang, X., Fronze, S. and Navab, N., 2001). Different kinds of visual tags can be used from a QR code, barcode, RF ID, Infrared ID depending upon the application for which it is to be used. Online social media and social networking sites such as Facebook, MySpace, YouTube, Flickr and other interactive web pages, also known as Web 2.0., allow display of user-generated content in many types and forms such as basic bulletin boards, blogs and discussion forums. All these sites provide some means to the users to communicate and connect to each other. The utilization of this same space with the UGC to layout effective marketing strategies online was very obvious.

Literature review: 1. Social Media. The built-up of the present scenario: The medium of social media creates opportunities for users to use their pictures and words so that they connect and create meaning with their friends and others. This powerful medium allows new connections, regardless of the location, and in real-time. (Peck, 2010). Direct marketing became a powerful with proliferation of low-cost internet access opening up opportunities for companies to deal directly with thousands or millions of individual customers in a way that was previously unimaginable, and only manageable through the use of intermediaries (Palmer and Koenig-Lewis, 2009). With the endless social media options, marketers and companies want to fast-track their experience by focusing on the sites and tools that will bring the greatest return (Stelzler, 2009). Growing Big, ROI, Bucks: Social networking Web sites have succeeded in attracting not only users but investors too. Media conglomerates have tried to acquire or invest in social networks. Some U.S. social networks have geared up to provide shopping services. Facebook added a shopping application that enables users to search for products they want to buy, then share their opinions of those products with other Facebook members (Forbes 2007). Facebook has

supplied virtual gifts, valued at $1 apiece, since April 2007. Cyworld.co.kr, a popular Korean social network that attracts more than one-third of the country's population and 90% of people in their 20s, carries both real and virtual items. (Cha, 2009). The Internet Word Of Mouth effect can be either ways: Social networks play an important part in the diffusion of information among consumers, a process widely referred to as word-of-mouth'. How individuals relate to each other within a given market will influence whether information is shared and diffused, often ultimately determining the adoption of innovations by consumers. (Goldenberg, Libai, and Muller, 2001). An issue also deals with marketers' lack of ability to "control" UGC sites, a definitive difference from PGC. Johnson and Kaye (2004, p. 624) note that "bloggers are not bound by standards of objectivity; most have strong views that they express openly." Thus, UGC runs the spectrum from positive to negative. When UGC is negative, it can have harmful implications for building and sustaining a brand's equity, an issue compounded by the fact that readers of UGC may consider it more credible than content that originates with the producer e.g., brand advertising. (Cheong and Morrison, 2008). Web 2.0 success, role of interaction: Interactivity has a big role to play in the success of various web campaigns. SCA Libresse a fashion and consumer products brand from Sweden, after detailed research of market segments, created an online campaign in which young girls could participate in a fashion design competition. This led to a high rise in number of visitors on their website. The case study demonstrates that by an interactive and social use of the Internet, companies can achieve brand awareness, positive attitude toward a brand, and increased sales in the target segment. (Fagerstrom and Ghinea, 2010). Even low involvement consumers can be attracted to several web campaigns because of interactive features. Absolut vodka and Nike are examples of brands which had successful web campaigns which encouraged dialogues between brand and consumers. But the consumption of products is not directly related to successful campaigns. (Fagerstrom and Ghinea, 2010). All these campaigns by brands are a web

application and can be easily syndicated with social networking sites by different ways. These social networking sites act as a magnification to the campaign as others can see what the user interacted with the brand within the campaign. Facts and Figures: Social media websites are expected to generated $4.3 billion by 2011, more than four times what U.S. user-generated content sites generated in 2007 when more than 70 million U.S. Internet users created content online (eMarketer, 2006). 2. Augmented Reality Mixed Reality interface can be used in books with visual tags that use a real book to seamlessly transport users between Reality and Virtuality. A visionbased tracking method is used to overlay virtual models on real book pages, creating an

Augmented Reality (AR) scene. When users see an AR scene they are interested in they can fly inside it and experience it as an immersive Virtual Reality (VR). (Billinghurst, Kato, and Poupyerv, 2001). As seen in the figure 1, a 3D model of a picture on the page of the book can be seen as an addition to real object. A generic framework combines semantic Web service technology and physical mobile interaction. Mobile devices are used to extract information from physical objects and use it for more convenient and information added views of the objects in physical space. This interaction with physical object leads to development of Internet of things. (Broll et al., 2007). The pictures are taken from of a Mr.

presentation Herbert Bay

(2010)

(cited on ARBCon.eu, 2010). , a speaker from the first European Augmented Reality Business Conference held in Berlin on April 23 rd 2010. The mobile device can be used to Point the phones camera at a 5

monument or other point of interest, and the application looks up to its online database. The screen shows you what the camera captures, with display of additional information about what youre looking at. During the Web 2.0 Summit in 2009, Tim OReilly of OReilly Media Inc. and John Battelle from Federated Media gave some useful insights into connections between Web 2.0 and the sensor based applications like augmented reality. (Web 2.0 Summit, 2008). The fundamental lessons of Web 2.0 apply to any network application, whether web- or mobile phone-based (and the lines between the two are increasingly blurred). These applications can be designed in such a way that they get better with more people using them and as the data gets collected, a feedback loop is generated and that encourages even more usage. (OReilly, T. and Battelle, J., 2008). We can get to the Internet of Things by contributing more and more sensor data, learn applications and make greater sense of handed over data. Any object on a supermarket shelf does not require an RFID tag or a unique machine readable ID to join the Internet of Things. It can also be done with bar codes, tags on photos as visual tags to label identity on reality. (OReilly, T. and Battelle, J., 2008). Many brands and companies are now starting to have AR on their marketing strategy agenda. All these brands and the developers have started to evaluate all paths for interaction and entanglement. (KZERO Worldwide, 2010, cited on ARbcon.eu) Web 2.0 hosting AR applications for various brands - Facebook considered for the example:

KZERO Worldwide (2009) shows in a presentation the tracking of brands which have used AR applications in 2009. Most of these applications were for interaction with consumers as a selling or marketing function.

For setting a platform of discussion Facebook will be considered for the examples of AR based brand marketing campaigns. These applications on various other websites which are an integral part of web2.0 will be very similar. All these brands have their websites and most of them host the campaigns on their own website. They are syndicated to Facebook by either of Facebook Page, Facebook Connect, Facebook Share, and Facebook Advertisement or a combination of any of the above Facebook paid features. (Facebook 2010). There is a choice between creating a Facebook Application or an application on the brands own website. (Facebook, 2010). A Facebook application can directly be shared with other Facebook users whereas if the application is on their own website, they can publish links to Facebook users to access the application on through a Facebook Page, Facebook Share, Facebook Connect and Facebook Advertisement. (Facebook | Apps on facebook.com, 2010). Following three are the examples of AR campaigns on Facebook. Ironman2 the movie released in 2010 has its official movie website and a Facebook Page www.facebook.com/IronMan2.com (IronMan2 |

Facebook, 2010). An AR application was developed on a separate website, which was used as a viral campaign, where users can log in and see their face masked with an ironman mask and also hood view of ironman suit. www.iamironman2.com. (IronMan2, 2010).This AR application website is syndicated with Facebook by the Facebook share feature. So application was not on Facebook but users of applications could share their AR experience video on Facebook. Pringles a food brand deployed a Facebook application based on AR and Peter Crouch an English footballer was a part of application and also demonstrates the use of the application (Pringles on |

www.facebook.com/Pringles?v=app_358050969648. Facebook, 2010). BMW UK on its official website has an

AR

application

www.bmw.co.uk/bmwuk/augmented_reality/homepage?bcsource=vanit y, for its model BMW Z4, on the same website. (BMW UK, 2010). It is syndicated with its Facebook page http://www.facebook.com/pages/Z4BMW-UK/63192760957. (BMW Z4 | Facebook, 2010). Facts and Figures: A new report from Juniper Research (2009), has found that the market for mobile augmented reality (AR) services is expected to reach $732 million by 2014, with revenues derived from a combination of paid-for app downloads, subscription based services and advertising. The annual revenues from AR will not exceed even $2 million during 2010, because the number of ARenabled phones is very less. By 2014, 350 million phones will be AR-enabled smart phones. (Juniper Research, 2010). Predictions: According to Windsor Holden, author of Juniper Research report, The technology is in embryonic stage there are no legal regulatory frames yet. Lot has been said about the future of AR till now. According to The Economist (cited on ARbcon.eu, 2010), "Trying to imagine how Augmented Reality will be used is like trying to forecast the future of the web in 1994."

This new medium and interface will hasten the dissolution of those boundaries, accelerating an exciting new technological world at the collapse of centuries old delimitation. Also AR gives the possibility to eradicate the boundaries between online and offline. It will firmly embed both communications and computing into our lives on every moment.

(eComm2010, April 17). Research questions: If AR has to stand up to these assumptions, it has to enter the main stream media. There are technical limitations in terms of hardware, network and software and consumers should be able to understand and adapt to the technology. There is lots of research on the technology of AR and its possible applications for marketing and advertisement. Also Web 2.0 is an area which has been under the scanners of researchers in the recent years. Social networking websites and other Web 2.0 areas are already hosting AR campaigns of various brands based on AR and a few examples and illustrations will be discussed under the methodology. There has been minimal research on following topics and this exploratory research will try to get answers to: How consumers react to these kinds of advertisements based on AR? Have they started using these AR applications introduced by the brands? What are their attitudes towards the use of AR in marketing and advertisement? Do they perceive it as useful and meaningful enough to spend time and resources for AR applications? Are they able to deal with the basic requirements for these applications to be used (like visiting the website, allowing web cam access, taking a print out and then using the application)? Methodology: A qualitative research seeks to explore and understand peoples attitudes, perceptions, motivations and other qualitative information which is quite the aim of this research. It was executed by constructing and analysing a 9

predominantly qualitative data. (Kent, 2003). The date, time and place and method for data collection were first decided first and then the amount of researcher participation was decided. The participant was an observer and negotiated the way into the setting by open acknowledgement of the exploratory purposes and participated as fully as possible in the range of activities. (Gold, 1958 cited in Kent, 2003). Qualitative research through focus groups is frequently used for evaluation of an advertisement or promotional proposition. A focus group method was applied here where two mini groups participated as there was need to explore individual behaviour and each of the group was a quick reaction group. (Kent, 2003). The sampling used was convenience sampling where most of the participants were a group of marketing students. This sampling was supposed to be helpful in getting dual perspective to the discussion; one that of a consumer and one of marketer. As there is an involvement of emerging technology, there was a short screening questionnaire (oral) to know that weather or not the probable respondents were previously exposed to the technology. Based upon the screening responses a necessity was identified and the respondents were given a presentation on the technology and also a short demonstration of the use of technology. The presentation explained them about what AR is and its applications. The demonstration showed them how to use the application so that the discussions could become as real as possible. The example used in the demo was of the Ironman2 AR Experience on www.iamironman2.com. (IronMan2, 2010). A time gap of a week was allowed for the discussion so that the participants could absorb the technology and develop some viewpoints of their own. The participants were comforted into the discussion space and were informed that their opinion and viewpoint was important to the researcher and there were no right or wrong answers. The real focus group was taken in two phases. In the first phase they were asked questions about how do they feel initially when they saw the AR experience and their attitudes from a consumer perspective towards the use of the technology for online application based advertisement. After end of the first phase of discussion, they were asked to try one application on their own without assistance from moderator.The Pringoolas, an AR based Facebook application at

www.facebook.com/Pringles?v=app_358050969648 was selected for this 10

purpose. (Pringles | Facebook, 2010). Based upon their experience, do they perceive it as useful and meaningful? Will they like to spend time and resources for other AR experiences created by the brands? The final question was about how they deal with the process involvement of using the application like loading a web page, allowing webcam access, taking a printout and holding a visual code under the webcam. Because of the nature of the topic discussed, the moderator had to continue to be the focus of attraction throughout the discussion. The selection of demonstrated campaign and the trial campaign too was limited to the few available online applications which is not self realistic. But it was made clear to the respondents that they were not supposed to evaluate the qualities of the particular AR experience of a particular brand/product they were demonstrated and asked to try, but to express opinions for the technology itself. They were asked to remember overall possible applications of the technology in terms of information provision and entertainment as presented to them a week ago. At the end of the discussion, they were asked to write down in a piece of paper, two key words or short phrases to describe the experience and one key word to describe their comfort during using the application on their own without assistance. The last keyword was meant to explore the ease of use within the technology adaption model. The presentation, demonstration and all the discussions were recorded on a mini DV video tape recorder. The participants were not given any compensation but were offered complementary snacks. Findings and Discussions: Analytic description will be used to analyse the focus group discussions. To make sure that all the points discussed are considered for analysis, a reference was made to the recorded focus groups on a video tape. The respondents are labelled as R1 to R10. Phase 1 First they were asked about their attitudes towards use of augmented reality based marketing activities on social media. Analysing by using the quotes is very useful in focus group explorations. (Morgan, 1997). Typical quotes from the responses are stated below.

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R1: I did not like it. There is no information about the product in any of them. If I already dont know what is Ironman, it is useless for me. Only if it provides useful information, it will be useful for me. Right now it is not informative. The respondent also said that it may be good for creating brand awareness but if one does not know what is the product then its effectiveness is doubtful. R2: It was good. Even if there was no information provided, it creates a very good memorable experience. It is different from giving knowledge about the product. Also on social media, many people use applications developed by brands. I use many applications and will use AR applications too. But if I am on my PC, I do not have a web cam but I do have it on my laptop. R3: It is an innovative idea of presenting the product, I will like if a product is marketed to me in this way. I use applications of social media, but taking a print out can be a problem for me. R4: The print out should be free or some printed tag should be given with product, so I can use it. I used this kind of thing for Adidas shoes. But then it will be only for the product buyers so may not reach social media R5: I will like to use this application on social media. I have never faced it till now but it seems interesting. If I have to use a print out and a web cam for fun applications I will like it sure R6: It will be very good for brand awareness. I will remember this demonstrated experience and will like to use it. But for now I perceive it as only fun. R7: It is complex to understand for me. It is very entertaining but I doubt the effectiveness of AR. Its a bit confusing but with time it should be better. R8: 12

It is very impressive. But it is not a necessity for me. I never faced it till now, and if I was not demonstrated to me, I would have not used till now. No I know it and still I have doubts weather I will use it or not. I liked it though. I would say interesting and a different idea, innovative and memorable experience. R9: Its very new technology and it will create awareness amongst the followers of brands. Its easier than second life and in the coming time I see myself using it more and more. I follow some big brands and big brands seem to start using this application and I will use it because we love some brands so much. R10: I belong to the audience that is going to follow it. Most of us young users try lots of applications on Facebook and we spend a lot of time on social media. When I will see it next, I will go for it. Amazing experience as compare to other adverts on facebook. List of keywords/ short phrase for the experience: Innovative, Memorable, Good Experience, Breakthrough tool, Useless, Interactive, Fun, Original, Impressive, Not interesting, Futiristic. The overall response showed the positive response in terms of the experience generated but most of them were slightly sceptical about the necessity to take print out and use webcams. Availability of the necessary technical resources like a printer and web camera was an issue. If they do have the provision of the resources they have a positive attitude. Also it was observed that many have doubt about the usefulness of the applications. Perceived usefulness should be considered while designing these applications. Information provided was important for some of them, and the experience as a memorable user experience was useful for some of them. Also the time of starting to use it was very mentioned by them and many think to start using after it is more famous and more common. Phase 2 The invention of a new technology appears in a single event or a jump. But the diffusion and acceptance of that technology usually is a continuous and

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slow process. Diffusion can be seen as cumulative and aggregate result of series of individual calculations who weigh the benefits of the technology and ultimately the users decide the fate of the invention. (Hall and Khan, 2003). This phase asked the questions about the ease of use, to the respondents after their use of an AR application. Quotes from the response are stated below. R1: I was not able to complete the application as I failed to start web cam on the flash player R2: It was a bit of a task for me. But managed some how. R3: I did manage it alone. It was not as difficult as I thought. Next time it will be even easier for me. R4: I did it easily. Very easy to follow after the demonstration. R5: I tried doing alone but I needed some guidance. It was managable R6: Printing will be the issue for me. I was provided the printout and I did it easily. R7: It was complex for me. R8: It was easy after demo and instructions but personally I need time to start using it. R9: Easy but I will try later when it is more popular. R10: Not too difficult, not too easy. List of keywords/ short phrase for ease of use:

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Easy, Not too difficult, not too easy, Easy, Complex, Easy to handle, User friendly, Managable, Slightly tough, Adaptive after few trials, Managable but difficult to implement. Six respondents mentioned that is was either easy, manageable of user friendly. Two were sceptical saying that it was on moderate and two said it was on the tougher side. But the response seemed overall that if they were demonstrated and guided by the simple instructions on the web page it made it easier for them. So it could be judged that overall the adaption is likely to come with time. The communications will be viral and by the coming time in next two years it would not be a big deal to use an AR application. If the developers focus more on the information provided and they make some applications that are useful. The users should know that it AR in the application that they are using so they do not perceive it as a trick or deceptive. Limitations: Due to the time restrictions, the focus groups involved only ten respondents in total. A better judgement was possible if there were more respondents. Also the age group was young. The responses of youngsters and of other groups are different, specially on the social networking sites and also youngsters tend to me more of technology and application users. The selection of the displayed advert applications was limited by the number of applications available online. Even though the respondents were asked not to give answers keeping the specific advert in their mind, they might still have answered according to the specific ad that was demonstrated and that they were asked to try on their own. The answers just might reflect the particular responses to the application of the specific brand.

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