Augmented reality is more than just a catchphrase.

Move over human influencers; Virtual beings could be the next generation of marketing in the near future.

Have you always wanted to take a headset and meet your customer in virtual reality instead of zoom – see what your home office makeover with augmented reality could look like, or make a virtual copy of yourself and send it off, to teach your next webinar or Facebook Live?

Digital marketers are facing new realities thanks to pandemic disorders, diversity movements and social distance.

In the past few months, marketing has completely turned everything – from virtual rooms to micro-messaging to digital developers and platform targeting – upside down.

Define digital marketing realities

Virtual reality (VR), augmented reality (AR), mixed reality (MR), machine learning and now virtual beings are all terms that digital marketers will have to familiarize themselves with sooner rather than later.

They have quickly become one of the most accessible ways to market, communicate, engage and teach.

Here are some of the latest definitions you can add to your marketing.


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Virtual reality

Virtual reality is when you are in a completely immersive environment (computer-simulated and video).

Think of games with a headset, only this is not a game. Imagine your avatar meets your colleague's avatar in your boardroom on a platform like Alt Space VR.

VR gives the user the feeling of being in this environment instead of the one in which they are physically.

expanded reality

Augmented Reality is the overlay of visual content in your existing environment with a device such as glasses or your smartphone via apps – think of Snapchat or Instagram filters.

Mixed reality

Mixed reality, also known as spatial computing, is a hybrid version of reality that connects a virtual environment and a real environment.

Think of Princess Leia in Star Wars or fast forward today to send a holographic press release with your CEO as a hologram.

Machine learning

Machine learning refers to simulating human intelligence in machines that are programmed to think like humans and mimic their actions.


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Think R2D2 is now turning Hamburgers over for White Castle, or you are having a human conversation in both directions to solve a health problem through messaging.

Virtual being

Virtual being is a character that you know is not real, but that you can have a reciprocal emotional relationship with.

Think of the founder of Twitter, Biz Stone, as your next keynote, or Deepak Chopra, who will do a meditation for you.

The catch – it's not you, it's about your virtual being.

Brands and marketers can now create a virtual entity as part of their influencer's marketing strategy, a computer-generated entity that is programmed to fully relate to your buyer personality.

Five AIs talk to each other, supported by @aifdn

digital @DeepakChopra is now performing a guided meditation to calm the AIs (problems with zoom connectivity 😅)

"Now my AI can push my limits to share my knowledge with everyone now or in the future" – Digital Deepak

– Alice Lloyd George (@alice__LG), July 15, 2020

Why focus on new marketing realities?

E-commerce is revolutionized

If it is not possible to go to the mall for retail therapy, AR and social networks like Snapchat come to the rescue.

While augmented reality is caught in a global health crisis, marketers and brands can thrive without endangering consumers.

A typical example: Gucci recently launched its first lens for trying on shoes with Snapchat, which uses the power and style of augmented reality.

All you have to do is scan the promo shop code and get access to the latest trends in shoe fashion.

Try on Gucci Show

Engagement is a close encounter of a new kind

AR and VR make interaction with your audience accessible in times of social distance, quarantine and beyond.

Virtual concerts, fashion shows and extended tours enable brands to entertain, educate and start without a physical audience.


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Social networks are the platform and in many cases no headset is required.

John Legend with Wave, a social music venue, hosted his first virtual live concert.

The virtual concert attracted more than 500,000 visitors and drew attention to Legend's FREEAMERICA campaign to change the U.S. criminal justice system.

Participants watched John Legend's avatar perform his legendary songs that marked the history of virtual reality events this month.

During the live event, the real John Legend used his social channels to interact with his fans.

The Fabric of Reality: On July 29th, a groundbreaking #VirtualReality fashion show starts in collaboration with Kaleidoscope, the Museum of Other Realities and the Fashion Innovation Agency # RYOT the next era of #virtual #fashion shows / lXU1vi6glc #VR

– Rob Crasco® XR VR AI Social Media Tech Influencer (@RoblemVR) July 16, 2020


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Storytelling becomes immersive and 3D

While all of these new marketing technologies might sound daunting and might consider again.

Facebook makes it easy to experiment with immersive content.

Would you like to be noticed in the feed?

Try using 3D photos or panoramic pictures that become 360 ​​pictures on mobile devices.

National Geographic is taking a small step for humanity and a big step for AR by climbing the world's highest mountain with haunting storytelling and AR.

Relationship building

Connecting with your audience is about being close and personal.

Why Buy Lululemon Mirror, the Interactive Fitness Company?

Experts say that the future of fitness (or any other industry) is about creating meaningful content, connecting with customers, gaining loyalty and the key word, immersive relationships.

"During COVID, I meditated and trained with my SPIEGEL. It's like having an # AR personal trainer at home," said Cathy Hackl, futuristic AR / VR tech expert and author of the upcoming book "The Augmented Workforce".


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"I like how this #technology has enabled me to experience part of the # future of fitness and AR and how their acceptance has been accelerated by the pandemic," added Hackl. "And if Lululemon turns it into a sales channel that offers personalized recommendations for equipment and training, the investment is worth it."

Cathy Hackl mirror

5 ways to use new marketing realities from AR, VR & More

1. Humanize your brand and bring it to life

"In many ways, virtual reality is the next phase of live video," said Navah Berg, social VR expert and moderator at The Hive VR.

VR conveys a feeling of authenticity, rawness and feeling more than a two-way zoom video could ever do.

As virtual reality becomes marketing reality, virtual people become part of the cast.


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The World Health Organization (WHO) recently launched a campaign with its first virtual health worker, Florence. Your mission is to help users stop smoking.

“Users can rely on Florence as a trusted source of information to help them achieve their goals. It can also help recommend tobacco users for other national toll-free termination lines or apps that can help you on your termination trip, ”said WHO on its official YouTube website.

To help more than 1 billion tobacco users quit, WHO is launching Florence, a digital health worker that combats misinformation about # COVID19 and tobacco, and gives recommendations and tips on quitting 👇

– World Health Organization (WHO) (@WHO) May 31, 2020

2. Prepare for crisis communication

Who would have predicted the crisis? The COVID pandemic has spread across all industries.

How does diversity feel?

VR enables users in a company called Live in Their World to experience workplace scenarios where bias, inequality, and inconsistency occur.

With #VR, users in a company called "Live in Their World" can experience # workplace scenarios in which bias, inequality, and incidentality occur.

A #VirtualReality #Bias #Simulator #BLM #BlackLivesMatter

– Rob Crasco® XR VR AI Tech Influencer for Social Media (@RoblemVR) July 15, 2020


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Crisis or no crisis, VR could be the answer to new teaching methods.

PwC recently published a 10-month study analyzing the value of virtual reality for soft skills training.

Some of the results report that VR learners train faster, are more confident, more emotionally connected and more focused than class / e-learners.

3. Strengthen your company's media work

If you're in the world of digital marketing and public relations, AR / VR and machine learning must come into play.

Storytelling and media coverage of news and experiences are designed to make VR and AR the new journalistic normal to stand out from your brand news.

An example application can be:

  • As simple as machine learning to do redundant communication and media work (like list making and research).
  • Use machine learning in your website newsroom to build a meaningful, deeper, and segmented relationship with your website visitors.

We used to send press kits, now we can provide journalists and bloggers with exclusive, immersive content.


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If influencer marketing is part of your strategy, imagine creating a digital person as your next influencer spokesman or moderator of your web series.

Move overwritten and visual communication, augmentation is here to improve the message and bring it to life.

Hackl presented the world's first holographic press release at a PRSA conference with AR technology with Facebook and Snapchat in 2018.

An easy way to use AI in your media work or marketing life is to use the Crystal platform.

You get access to personality insights to cultivate closer relationships in marketing, sales and public relations.

Social PR secret

Plug in the Crystal Chrome extension to reveal the personality of a journalist, prospect, or customer while browsing LinkedIn.

It's the ultimate secret weapon in building strong relationships and icebreaker conversations, as if you've known someone all your life.

4. Let the audience experience your company's promise

The marketing of your brand promise or your brand is brought to new realities that are not even understandable.


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With AR and VR, nothing is left to the imagination.

Immersive technology strengthens customer loyalty and is powerful for company teams who know what they stand for and how they can communicate.

From using robotic divers to save coral reefs to supporting our next generation, augmented reality uses to overlay bizarre faces that represent climate change.

The cases are endless and are just beginning.

"Experiences like this can generate empathy to really get your brand's audience excited about their mission / promise," said Berg, who is also the social VR presenter at Hive VR.

5. Discover virtual spaces and advanced technologies

There are countless ways to get started with AR / VR or to increase marketing skills and inspiration.

It's as simple as experimenting with how Snapchat uses different lenses from a personal or professional perspective.

Discover platforms such as AltSpace VR, Mozilla Hubs, Hobby Room and more where you can hold conferences, participate in a yoga class, participate in a workshop or just hold a social meeting.


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Google Map Live View

Local search engine optimization should also be considered, as places in augmented reality can be searched with your smartphone.

Imagine that users are no longer searching with a browser and with their camera.

Optimizing your business on local platforms like Yelp and Google My Business is an important checkbox for local SEO and augmented reality.

Google Maps currently has a "live view" with AR that is overlaid to help you navigate to your destination.

“Artificial intelligence would be the ultimate version of Google. The ultimate search engine that understands everything on the web. It would understand exactly what you wanted and it would give you the right thing. We are nowhere near doing that. However, we can gradually get closer to it, and we are basically working on that. "- Larry Page, founder of Google


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You might remember the KFC campaign, which used a computer-generated version of Colonel Sander's jet setting, and you met with other virtual influencers.

Some called it fake, others called it brilliant because it attracted engagement and publicity from high-profile publications such as Ad Age, PR Week and Mashable.

Getting started and inspiration for using new marketing technologies

These tips will help you get inspiration to start your own new marketing initiatives:

  • Be one of more than 2.5 million followers of the computer-generated fictional celebrity on Instagram, @lilmiquela.
  • Easily create a lifelike avatar and collaborate with someone as if they were next to you with Spatial.
  • Learn for free with Google AI.
  • Get the perfect fit, the perfect vase or the perfect selfie with 3D photos and scanning on Scandy.
  • Create a free website with all of HeyLeia's AI technology.
  • Make your first avatar for business or personal use. Create personal 3D avatars for games and VR on Ready Player Me or the business-oriented avatars for companies on
  • See how every industry on the planet is being interpreted and reinterpreted faster and faster than you think by Steven Kotler and Peter H. Diamandis.
  • Try out each tattoo in real time at INKHUNTER.
  • Check out AR effects like filters and masks during a call to Portal for Facebook
  • As part of the Facebook app family, you can experiment with Spark AR or Facebook AI tools and create them using augmented reality.
  • Find friends interested in replicas.
  • Discover optimized machine learning with
  • Create scrolling stop videos from any URL with Lumen5.
  • Channel the automatic drawing of your inner artist Google. It combines machine learning with drawings by talented artists to help everyone create something quickly and visually.
  • Bookmark this article: Robot Marketing: Why CMOs Have to Start Thinking About Business To Robot To Consumer (B2R2C).
  • Create a brand ambassador or hire a new digital employee with Digital Humans for just $ 899 a month.
  • Get inspired by the Nike Create with Air Max campaign.
  • Check out this AR app, Leo AR, perfect for marketing educators and parents and teachers who stay at home.
  • Marketing New Realities is the premier address for marketers to learn the AR / VR / MR basics to start their futuristic thinking.
  • Read the book "Convergence: How the World is Painted in Data".
  • Follow tech futurist Cathy Hackl's newest stores on Forbes.
  • Take part in the conversation about the Facebook group and Virtual Beings events.
  • Stay up to date with these releases: VR Scout, AR Post, AR Insider and Insider XR.
  • Attend AR mental check-ins coming to Snapchat. Breathe, relax and meditate with AR in a recently announced collaboration between Snap and Headspace.
  • Dive into the future of storytelling with Spectacles, Snap's camera sunglasses.

People / brands to follow


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“Learning a new tool and a new perspective (of things) also helped me outside of 3D. I don't lose myself so much anymore “@ Khyatitrehan talks about new considerations in space and creating a visual diary while working on their latest lenses.

– Glasses (@Spectacles) July 23, 2020

Follow hashtags

  • #VirtualBeings
  • #DigitalHumans
  • #AR
  • #VR
  • #AI
  • #MR
  • #XR
  • #SpatialComputing
  • #SnapSpectacles


Samantha Wolfe, emerging technology expert, author, and founder of WeArePitchFWD, sums it up best when she summarizes how brands should view their approach to new marketing realities.

“Companies with a strong online and social presence = advantage TODAY. Companies with a strong extended / spatial / virtual presence = advantage TOMORROW. "

Where will you be tomorrow

Your marketing future is the focus today.

More resources:


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Image credits

All screenshots from the author, July 2020
In-post picture: Cathy Hackl


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