Ready to Reach Hispanic America?

Changing Reality: Augmented and Virtual

02/27/15 . UCI Trend Lab

What’s the Trend:
The manipulation of a person’s environment. Augmented Reality (“AR”) is the superimposing of graphics, audio, and other sensory enhancements over a real-world environment in real time.1 Virtual Reality (“VR”) on the other hand, is a completely artificial and immersive environment, presented so the user accepts it as a real environment.2 As these technologies continue to evolve and advance, brands and marketers discover new opportunities to engage.

What’s New:
The presence of AR and VR are often talked about in comparison as both systems have the similar goal of immersing a user – though to different extents. As it stands AR technology is more successful and prominent as more products exist on the market.3 Television has been implementing a simple form of AR, especially in sports broadcasts, with scores on the screen during a live match or with the super-imposed first down line during American Football games. However, these examples are only offered from one point of view; the next generation of AR technology will be far more advanced and display graphics from each user’s perspective.4 UCI’s own Univision Deportes is another example of AR use in sports, with three studios in Brazil that offered viewers sophisticated augmented reality graphics and multi-touch screens during the 2014 FIFA World Cup™.5

Smartphone AR apps have started to gain momentum. Layar is an app that uses a person’s camera and GPS functions to gather information about the surrounding area. A user can point the camera at a point of interest at which time more information about the object is overlayed over the camera view. Nexos Latinos magazine partnered with an AR provider and created an AR app and compatible print issue for its subscribers. Readers could download the app and point their camera at AR enabled content to see more information. For example, if a person pointed the camera at an article about singer Jalil Lopez, they could watch the music video for “Princesa Mia” and then click through to buy the song on iTunes.6

Despite AR currently being more accessible for consumers, VR is a hot topic for 2015, with the potential to create a whole new universe of 360-degree storytelling marketing. Oculus Rift is a VR headset that brands are currently testing.7 Topshop installed five Oculus Rifts in their Oxford flagship store during fashion week this year, giving store visitors the opportunity to experience what it is like to be front row at a fashion show.8 Marriott is considering making Oculus Rift a permanent fixture inside its hotels this year after an initiative last year, #GetTeleported, which allowed guests a one minute glimpse to destinations around the world.9 Mountain Dew brought Oculus Rift to its Dew Tour stop in Brooklyn this past fall; attendees could put on the headset and virtually skateboard alongside the all-star “Mtn Dew” skate team. “This is not an advertisement. This is an experience,” was the tagline for the promotion. Industry rumors suggest Oculus Rift for consumers will be released sometime in 2015.10

Why it Matters:
AR and VR technology gives brands new, personal ways to connect with the Hispanic community. Margaret Boller, the publisher for Nexos Latino, said that their creation of the AR app helped position the magazine and its advertisers as “tech-savvy and audience aware” for Hispanics. Moreover, specific to VR, headsets like Oculus Rift present brands with opportunities to engage in new creative ways at events.11 According to a 2014 study by the Event Marketing Institute that looked at brands return on experiential investments, “62% of brands participating in the study are getting a better than two-to-one return and 14% say it is greater than five-to-one.”12 How can your brand utilize these technologies to connect with the Hispanic consumer in authentic and novel ways, by providing them with a positive brand experience?


  1. Bonsor, Kevin. (2015). “How Augmented Reality Works.” HowStuffWorks, InfoSpace LLC.
  2. “Virtual Reality,” (2015). TechTarget.
  3. McKalin, Vamien. (2015, April). “Augmented Reality vs. Virtual Reality: What are the differences and similarities?” Tech Times.
  4. Bonsor, Kevin. (2015). “How Augmented Reality Works.” HowStuffWorks, InfoSpace LLC.
  5. Johnson, Reed. (2014, June). “It’s a Matter of ‘Goal’ vs. ‘Golazo!’” Wall Street Journal.
  6. Fletcher, Margaret M. (2013, April). “Nuts & Bolts – Case Study: Nexos Makes Augmented Reality Sing.” Target Marketing.
  7. Heine, Christopher. (2015, January). “How Oculus Rift Is About to Reshape Marketing Creativity.” AdWeek.
  8. Solon, Olivia. (2014, February). “Oculus Rift: your front row Fashion Week ticket.” Wired.
  9. Heine, Christopher. (2015, January). “How Oculus Rift Is About to Reshape Marketing Creativity.” AdWeek.
  10. Castillo, Michelle. (2014, November). “Can Oculus Rift Make Mountain Dew a Content Mackine Like GoPro or Red Bull?” AdWeek.
  11. Fletcher, Margaret M. (2013, April). “Nuts & Bolts – Case Study: Nexos Makes Augmented Reality Sing.” Target Marketing.
  12. Bannan, Karen J. (2014, August). “Experience Counts: Experiential programs fuel consumer desire to connect with a brand’s personality.”
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