Has AR reached a creative tipping point?

While augmented reality is already ubiquitous in the realms of social and gaming, brands are only just beginning to scratch the surface of the tech’s potential to transform our daily lives

This year marks a decade since the well-documented failure of Google Glass. Often cited by the brand world as a cautionary tale of the importance of knowing your audience, Google’s first major step into augmented reality quickly became a symbol of everything people love to mock about Silicon Valley – a bunch of over-hyped tech bros making products that nobody actually likes.

Fast-forward to 2024 and real-life applications of AR are everywhere – from Gorillaz holding an AR music video event in New York’s Times Square and London’s Piccadilly Circus, to the Barbie movie marketing machine using it to transform landmarks across the globe and allow fans to try on some of the doll’s iconic outfits.

“The biggest thing you still hear is that AR isn’t that evolved right now, when actually that is a massive myth. It’s not something from this future mystical world,” Beth Carroll, head of social at VML in London, tells CR. “It’s probably the same from the public’s perspective. If they hear the words ‘augmented reality’, they think of it as being something from the future, whereas they’re probably interacting with AR more than they realise.”

Just Eat Takeaway AR lens by Dept