Marketers are now taking their campaigns to the next level through augmented reality. According to BusinessWeek, it's no longer enough to rely on "viral videos, fan pages on Facebook, or Twitter followings." Marketing campaigns that use augmented reality often ask consumers to use their webcam or computer to do something creative. One example cited in the article is a Cheez-It campaign directed at "tweens" that asked them to design a music video for an animated rock band called the "Cheez Dudes." The campaigns don't seem to need to provide a value statement for the product or service; rather, they use fun exercises for brand-building. This new type of marketing doesn't seem to be going away, either. Research predicts that the industry will hit $350 million by 2014.
It essentially comes down to creating video games that consumers can interact with that are entertaining enough that hopefully they'll remember the brand and want to buy - eventually.
Brand building by immersion probably beats the marketing mavens from Madison Avenue and their old style methodologies all day long. I recently saw a venerated Madison Avenue marketing firm try to work in the web 2.0 world and fall flat on their face, embarrassing their customer, me and (if they had a clue) themselves.