It’s all about personalization
Apple held its highly anticipated press conference last month to introduce the newest addition to the Apple product line-up — the iPhoneX. We were pretty excited to hear and see some of the newest functionality the new iPhone delivers.
One feature that was a big hit was the addition of augmented reality (AR) — called Animoji. Basically, uses facial recognition technology to animate emoji - based on facial expressions. If you smile, the emoji smiles too. If you stick out your tongue, the emoji will do the same. Snapchat has been doing something similar for some time with its face filters, but Apple’s plunge into the personalization and AR pool is a big step for the industry.
As this type of mobile interaction becomes more prevalent, it opens a door for brands to engage with consumers in new ways - bringing the brand right into the consumer’s environment. Therefore, brands must be on top of these new trends to optimize their touchpoints and engagement with consumers.
For instance, we know that millennials are more likely using Snapchat and mobile messaging apps to communicate with their friends - say over email or phone conversations. We know that they aren’t watching as much TV. We know that their experiences with brands are largely determined by social interaction or peer influence.
So how does this come back to the iPhone and AR? Well, this move by Apple has brought AR to the masses. It has consumerized what has traditionally been a high-touch, high investment technology and started to show us glimpses of how this would work in the early stages. This is just another fast-growing medium that brands will have to get out in front of to capture hearts, minds and engagement of consumers.
What we are most excited about is at Swyft, we believe this deep brand integration within conversations (text or video) is the future of large scale and ongoing brand engagement. We have always been about driving engaging and native brand experiences within mobile environments. This started with stickers/emoji in messaging as a way for brands to be a part of the conversation without being an interruption. Brands are actually “welcomed” by consumers as they make the conversations with their friends more fun and engaging. Animoji, and ultimately AR, extends this into the camera with photos/videos. Stickers overlaid on photos/videos were early AR, and now with features such as Animoji and Swyft’s new AR filters, brands are able to more seamlessly fit into this experience. We are just starting to scratch the surface on bringing these types of assets to life, and we think they will be hugely impactful for years to come.
The rules of engagement with consumers is changing quickly, and it is imperative that brands take the time to understand and embrace the change.
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