Web-based augmented reality platform Mattar is on a quest to introduce immersive experiences and take businesses’ messaging to futuristic new heights. Managing Director of creative tech studio Method, Sam Ramlu, explains why brands and agencies are queuing up to adopt this technology.
“Look at how much technology has boomed of late. Since 2020, the degree to which technology has become ingrained in our lives has increased dramatically.”
Our collective reliance on new innovations is something Sam Ramlu, Managing Director of creative tech agency Method is excited to see. That’s because the business she leads is focused squarely on bringing immersive digital experiences to the forefront of campaigns.
“This trend has been driven by the acceleration of digital uptake during the pandemic. Notably the normalisation of QR codes, and use of at-home virtual reality (VR) headsets during Lockdown,” she says.
And although the interest in augmented reality (AR) and VR has grown in popularity over the past year, the technology still baffles many. Businesses and marketers, in particular, often struggle to conceptualise how to make use of immersive tech.
Mattar, owned and operated by Method, is a web-based augmented reality platform that is seeking to demystify the realm for all and sundry. The best way to do this, Ramlu says, is to remove the usual roadblocks that have plagued immersive experiences.
Engage and inspire
AR offers an innovative opportunity to bring a story, product or experience to life through interactive technology. By creating an animated, ‘live’ and interactive experience, users can experience an offering in a shorter timespan, through a multi-sensory phone-based activation.
According to Ramlu, the technology is particularly suited to businesses and agencies that want rich, interactive AR experiences. Especially those lacking know-how and big budgets.
“What could sometimes involve watching a video or reading paragraphs of text can be illustrated through a 3D animation or diagram – and all off a small scannable marker, pack or object,” she says.
Mattar and The Warehouse Group’s 2021 Easter activation, ‘Where’s the Red Rabbit?’, was an excellent example of the technology at work.
The campaign used web-based AR to hide a series of interactive illustrations on bus shelters, street posters and shopping centre retail panels. Customers had to find the rabbit in the illustration, scan it through a website (using the mobile camera), and an animated RedRabbit would come to life in augmented reality, cavorting in its surroundings.
The Canterbury Museum’s House of Treasures also used a web-AR experience to enhance audience interaction and education, bringing to life the story of special exhibition items. It encouraged tamariki to scan these artefacts on their phone and follow the clues to discover hidden information.
Through Mattar, these brands have enlivened their content, stories and marketing by blending real life with the digital world.
The next campaign frontier
App-free platforms are undoubtedly the future in the AR space. Removing the hurdle of downloading an app to experience the creative is a major step forward in enticing more consumers to engage with the technology.
This past reliance on apps to fully experience the technology was the single biggest challenge to overcome, explains Ramlu.
“People think twice about downloading an app, regardless of whether it’s free, and irrespective of how good the experience is. As a web-based AR platform, Mattar creates accessible augmented reality experiences via a mobile website,” she says.
With accessibility to augmented reality now less of an issue we can have a major impact on the ability to cut through with engaging experiences. Customers can now simply visit a url and dive straight into an experience.
Yet like most new technologies, Ramlu warns brands would be wise to lean into experts to make sure they’re getting the most out of their immersive offerings.
“It has to be done right. Often we find bad experiences impact not only the brand but the medium as well. That’s why you need to find the right partner to bring a vision to life,” she says.
Making a mark in the virtual world
The Mattar Platform is emerging at a time where more brands and agencies are looking to include immersive experiences in their campaigns.
According to Ramlu, the increasing focus around this technology boils down to its ability to offer experiences that set a brand or product apart.
“Cutting through the clutter and reaching your audience with something unique, while communicating your key message, has always been the goal of marketers. Through AR we can really bring the content to life. It’ll pop across any device and create a true surprise and delight moment,” she says.
Ultimately AR is powerful in its ability to fully immerse someone in an experience. As Ramlu says, you can transport them somewhere and hold their attention more than via standard practises.
“If you have the opportunity, space, and time to immerse someone in your story, then why wouldn’t you want to give them that rich and full experience?” she says.