Toronto Metropolitan University
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Augmenting Causes: How Augmented Reality Enhances Cause-Related Marketing Campaigns

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posted on 2021-05-24, 19:26 authored by Samantha Fernandez
Augmented Reality (AR) is a useful tool for retailers to integrate social, environmental or political engagement into marketing goals. By creating interactive and augmented campaigns, brands have the opportunity to evoke emotion in their customers, and educate them on the subject they are supporting. This research paper focuses on how augmented reality (AR) can enhance cause-related marketing campaigns through print and packaging, and location specific in store AR experiences for consumers. AR can be used to enhance a cause-based marketing campaign by allowing users to overlay the digital world with the real world, and allows consumers to feel empathy and emotion towards the campaign because they can see it in their own environment. My research determines that mobility, connectivity, interactivity and modality are the key characteristics in making a successful AR cause-related campaign work. Mobility allows the campaign to be able to move around the store with the consumers, interactivity allowing consumers to experience the campaign, and play within it, connectivity making it shareable, and modality allowing the campaign to utilize different mediums such as video, audio, and 3D visuals to add depth the the campaign. Adding these four characteristics to a campaign augmenting packaging and print throughout a retail space allows consumers to experience the space in a new light and learn more about important causes the company supports. To consider how AR can enhance cause-related marketing campaigns, this paper analyzed existing examples of AR marketing campaigns and categorized them based on two different definitions listing attributes: seven characteristics of interactive media, as outlined by Ana Javronik (2016), and four different types of AR marketing as outlined by Joachim Scholz and Andrew N. Smith (2016). Three existing AR campaigns were compared against the seven characteristics of AR to see if the technology can add value to cause-related campaigns. I then proceeded to design an idealized, hypothetical AR brand campaign for a location-specific, instore experience to engage customers while shopping. And, finally, I created simple prototypes of AR brand packaging to consider the feasibility of launching an interactive and informative instore advertising campaign, augmenting the brand label beyond a simple 2D package.





  • Master of Digital Media


  • Digital Media

Granting Institution

Ryerson University

LAC Thesis Type

  • MRP

Thesis Advisor

Paul Moore