The AdClub Bangalore hosts webinar about AR & VR Technologies

 The AdClub Bangalore on 5th June hosted a webinar titled, 'Bringing Brands to Life Through AR & VR Technologies.' The 7th webinar in the series of webinars hosted by The AdClub Bangalore delved into topics starting from the definition of XR- 360 video, AR, VR, WebVR/AR to why should advertisers care about XR, the factors that distinguish it from other kinds of marketing and how can marketers measure ROI. On the panel were Adhvith Dhuddu, CEO, AliveNow, Ashwin Jaishankar, Co-Founder, AutoVRse, Vivek Jain, CEO, FlippA with Aneesh Koorapathy, CEO, VRNACULARS & Tripvana, from San Jose, California, as a Panelist and moderator. The event was co-hosted by Tina Mansukhani Garg, Founder & CEO, Pink Lemonade.

Aneesh  threw open the discussion by defining XR, AR, and VR and said "XR technically stands for Extended Reality. It is the conglomeration of technologies from 360 photographs and videos. Augmented Reality (AR) is when you are looking at the real world, but you can drop a virtual object into that real space. Virtual Reality is where you are inside a headset, and all you can see is what is in the headset (not the real world),"

The panel further discussed how these technologies are differentiated from other marketing techniques. According to Adhvith, AR/VR is a genuinely immersive experience.

He said, "If you look at the history of media and advertising, it's been 10-15year that mobile phones and smartphones have become the go-to piece of tech for everyone and if we delve more into the history of advertising on the smartphone, it has always been 2 Dimensional. Now, through AR, it is for the first time that you can interact by your face, hands, or gestures. It is truly an immersive experience where you are bringing the products to life by scanning them, and you can place the products in your real environment. So, the possibility of what you can do with AR is endless."

Speaking about the factors that catered to the growth of AR, Dhuddu said, "The brands and agencies started looking at AR to scale in the last 2-3 years. The major reason is that social media apps as platforms have allowed tech companies and developers to build AR experience into the app. The second reason is that the processing power of smartphones has improved a lot."

According to Vivek Jain, Stories are the most powerful means for brands to inspire and influence.  "It is also evident that a product attached with stories are perceived to be higher value than a product with description. Immersive technologies like AR/VR are fantastic tools for brands to communicate these stories”, he added. Jain elaborated the statement with a video of a project done for Karnataka Tourism using postcards. "The postcards reached 30 different countries and 250 cities in India. Great content and distribution channels helped a lot in the process."

Speaking on the VR technology, Jaishankar said, "The main appeal when we started AutoVRse in 2016 was the wow factor attached to VR technology. We capitalized on the 'wow factor' where you can put on a headset and be transported to another virtual world. As people grew more accustomed to the technology, we understood what the technology is capable of and saw many complex narratives coming."

He elaborated it with a project done for IFB Appliances AutoVRse tied up with IFB and launched VR Retail deployment. They deployed VR headsets in 560 showrooms across the country.

"Even though it takes much effort to make this kind of content, the metrics you get and the impact it creates on the customer is on a different level compared to traditional media," Jaishankar added.

Aneesh defined XR in three words - immersive, interactive, and intuitive. According to him, VR/AR are great ways of making an emotional connect with what a brand stands for.

He elaborated it with a video of a project he has done for Flex Ltd, a Singaporean-domiciled multinational electronics contract manufacturer.

The panel further discussed on the metrics for these technology applications.

Dhuddu said, "In AR, there are new metrics and analytics you are measuring. When you talk about Social AR- their platforms give you three parameters to measure the success of the campaign. They are impressions, Captures, and Shares.

He explained the terminology Web AR. "One metric in Web AR is the time spend. We have seen that any product page with an AR experience added to it, there is an increase of 80-150 percent in time spend and primarily because there is a 3D object of the product. "Another metric is the number of returns. We have worked for a furniture rental company in the US, and the number of returns has gone down because using AR, the customer could understand whether the products fit in the required space. Finally, the most important metric is whether adding all these immersive experiences will give any lift in sales and an increase in conversion rates in e-commerce platforms.

Speaking on the challenges, Jaishankar said, "Comparing India to the Western countries, there are many fundamental differences. The Oculus Rift, the VR technology which is very easy to set up. The first problem is that it is not launched in India. From an enterprise perspective, if you want to buy, it is hard to procure, and issues like service and maintenance of the product will arise.

"In India, the VR adoption scale is going to take time. AR adoption is growing primarily because of social media consumption. Social AR is leading the way in AR adoption in India," concluded Dhuddu.

Tina Mansukhani Garg said, “The session was an insightful one and demystified a number of aspects of AR and VR technologies with great examples from the speakers. We touched upon a number of aspects from adoption to future technologies to costs around leveraging XR for brand experiences. I am happy that this webinar sparked the right level of interest among the fraternity and I hope we can all work together to makes these technologies more inclusive so that brand experiences can be enhanced."

Arvind Kumar, Executive Director, Adclub Bangalore said, “It has been our endeavour to keep our members and fraternity engaged with useful subjects during this lockdown. Gauging by the response that we are getting, we are encouraged to plan more such discussions, on a weekly basis. We would also like to take this opportunity to thank our online media partners Medianews4U & Adgully, Adclubs Delhi, Chennai and Kochi for their cooperation and Support ."


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