Why Do People Think Augmented Reality in Packaging is a Good Idea?

augmented reality in packaging

Innovation in marketing is always rewarded by customer affection. It portrays that the brand has put a lot of effort into enhancing customers’ experience.

Delivering engaging marketing campaigns can be a tedious task but thanks to the adoption of innovative technologies like Augmented Reality (also known as AR), brands can stand out from the crowd and woo their customers.

AR helps superimpose virtual 3D objects onto our immediate reality. Like we have shown in the example below as soon as you scan the QR code one can instantly engage with the AR Experiences.

Example of Augmented Reality Experience for Packaging

Did you know product packaging is another popular implementation of this technology?

The packaging of any product creates a lasting impression of the brand on a customer.

What would happen if this very first impression lasts forever and your customer is just not able to give up on your brand? The packaging is the only communication channel with the brand and if you use it effectively it can work wonders. AR in packaging can help you to tell your product story in just the right way!

Accelerated Adoption

Due to the pandemic, the e-commerce industry has taken off. Everyone is trying to get online as fast as they can. People have reduced their outdoor activities. Thus, if you opt for traditional methods of marketing in the form of print media, chances are your investment will incur losses because the customers favor the digital transformation of the brands. 

Companies have found opportunities to market their stuff through packaging. The strong potential held by product packaging has long been ignored by the brands. Traditional packaging can only have so much information that can be printed on the packaging and there is a limit to it. With the use of QR codes on the packaging, companies can put in any amount of information that is associated with the brand or product and ship it with the packaging.

Adding AR can help customers explore more about the brand and the product. With the number of mobile phone users increasing every day, it is easier to reach customers as they can simply scan the QR code and experience the magic. While only 1% of retailers are actually using AR as a part of their brands, 71% of customers claim to shop more if brands use AR. There is a stark disparity between customer and brand sentiment and AR in packaging can help you bridge the gap as a brand.

During the FIFA world cup, McDonald’s used AR to promote their products. When customers hovered the camera at the French fries packet used to turn into a small football field and people could score goals while having their meal. Viral marketing, that is the advertisements or campaigns that go viral generate a lot of revenue for the company. Viral or word-of-mouth marketing can bring twice sales in comparison to paid ads and have 37% higher retention. The majority of the population owns smartphones and regular ads don’t really catch people’s attention, so brands have to shift to a more engaging and hi-tech way of marketing.

Advantages of using Augmented Reality in Product Packaging

  1. Taking your marketing campaign from offline to online:

    Imagine that your company ships packages to customers very frequently, now those packages pass through a lot of hands and eyes, you would not want to lose the traction that your package transportation is providing you with. So you put up a huge QR code on your packaging, people will notice it, some will scan it and engage with the AR experience you provide. It will help you convert your lifeless packaging into an online brochure of the product.
  1. Improving the brand value while attracting more eyes:

    Many brands are currently not tapping the potential of AR in the packaging industry to work for their use case. They are losing a lot of potential buyers. Approximately 11 million US households scanned QR codes in 2020. In India, mobile penetration has increased and there will be many more QR code scans. 

    AR in packaging definitely garners more attention and engages customers to a greater degree. After the customers scan the QR code on the packaging, they associate with the brand on an emotional level having known the brand story. Thus, they will keep coming for more.  
  1. AR in packaging is easy to use and deploy:

    The marketing campaigns can deliver different experiences in the customer journey because you don’t have to repackage your whole product. Only change the campaign, the QR code and deploy it. So no extra packaging costs for new marketing campaigns. 

If your product’s packaging is too cluttered then no one is going to really pay attention to it, but if it is well arranged then people would be able to relate to it. You could also add a comparison study of how your product compares to other similar products in the market. Plus you can update your digital campaigns anytime and deploy them, it won’t cost extra money in terms of packaging. Minimalistic designs fetch more eyes than the regular over-information packaging.

Cost-effectiveness of Augmented Reality

In the long run, AR in packaging will be very beneficial, the brand won’t have to redo its packaging to accommodate different campaigns, and this will add to their revenue as they won’t need to spend on packaging often. It will also reduce the time of marketing teams which was previously spent to design and redesign the packaging. People will also become familiar with the product as the design will be the same, and people will be able to tell the product apart easily. The memory retention of the product’s image will be an added bonus for the brand.

Brands that have implemented AR in their product packaging

Many brands have used AR in packaging for their marketing campaigns

19 crimes, Australian wine brand using Augmented Reality in Packaging
  • 19 crimes, an Australian wine brand incorporated Augmented Reality in their wine bottle packaging. What Pokemon Go did for kid’s understanding of AR, 19 Crimes’ app does for adults. It’s not always easy to point people to an example that will help them understand how it can fit into their life. The brand is dedicated to 19 crimes committed by Britishers who were sent to Australia. The brand added an AR Experience on the wine bottles so that the characters could tell their own story (or crimes).

Nespresso Example for AR in Packaging
  • Nespresso has adopted AR on its packaging, whenever you hover with the camera on the label, it shows how the product would look when it is ready for consumption. 
Coca Cola Ukraine using AR on their bottles to make packaging more engaging
  • Coca-Cola Ukraine used AR to turn their Christmas-based cans into a dance floor, whenever one scanned the can in a few seconds they could see the country’s most popular stars dancing on the can.
  • Taco Bell placed the AR feature on its taco boxes and soda cans for its Doritos shell campaign. When the user scanned the box in their Taco Bell app they could see the product-related FB and Twitter content on their phones. 
  • The WarBot app was created to offer discounts to customers, once you scan the store shelf with the iPad it would recognize compatible products and present a game before you, if you won that game it would offer you discount coupons. 


We can easily reach a conclusion on how beneficial AR in packaging can be. From reduced costs to increased sales, it can help a brand increase its reach and engagement. It is a purely win-win concept for the brands. Plus if the marketing campaign goes viral, then the brand is up for some empty warehouses and a sudden increase in demand for their products.

Subscribe to our newsletter to receive news on Metaverse, Blockchain, AR, VR and more.