As the divide between what’s real and what’s virtual gets progressively blurred, augmented reality is altering the very essence of reality as we know it. The acquisition of Fake Love by NYT’s T Brand Studio is in keeping with the fact that the stage is set for the next best thing since television. It’s apparent that VR (Virtual Reality) and AR (Augmented Reality) are morphing the why, the what and the how of content marketing.
With experiential content, the future of storytelling has arrived. Gone are the days of passive content, of monologues, of simply being the audience. All the more reason for organisations like T Brand Studio to offer more creative marketing services to their agencies and clients.
Fake Love describe themselves as "a design driven experiential agency that creates unconventional immersive and artistic projects." Why are agencies like Fake Love the norm of the day and the need of the hour, you ask? Well, they seem to hold the key to help content serve its primary purpose – to reach and drive leads. Especially now when immersive content appears to be the only way to get millennials to hear what you have to say. Moreover, “real” content has become the most effective means of making today’s participative audience really content. To be engaging enough for a generation of individuals who want to run about the town catching Pokémon, any piece of content is expected to have capacities of augmented reality.
The question now is not whether AR needs to be incorporated into branded storytelling but rather how to seamlessly integrate virtual content into our real environment. The workings of immersive content lean on the concept of the “illusion of non-mediation” where the user/audience is “present” in an experiential content piece without being technically conscious of its machinery. Living in a world of constant presence, we crave for content that allows us this experiential presence as well.
Another subtle and yet strong reason why augmented reality and immersive content is so sought after is probably because it speaks to our inherent need to control our environment and modify it in accordance with our needs. Isn’t it interesting how our primitive needs mould our futuristic fantasies and technological advancements?
With virtual reality being augmented to new heights, reality seems to be in a race against itself. How real is real enough? Would content be able to keep pace with the future that it’s plunging head-first into? As a corporate storyteller, these are questions that intrigue me and it’s exciting to be part of the movement that’s leading such change in the branded content space.
(The author is Head, Content Marketing, ESP, Maxus)
Disclaimer: The views expressed here are solely those of the author and do not in any way represent the views of exchange4media.com.