Malick Ba

A Story of a Hot-Dog and Augmented Reality

July 18, 2017

If I had told you that a dancing hot-dog would be the biggest thing of summer 2017, you’d think I was completely out of my mind. Over the last few weeks, if you’ve paid any attention to your Instagram & Snapchat feeds you’ll have noticed that the dancing hot-dog is taking the internet by storm. For those who don’t know, Snapchat’s latest round of filters contains an augmented reality piece that allows you to place a dancing hot-dog onto any surface and increase/decrease it in size. To give a bit more detail, one would simply open snapchat, tap on the screen and scroll through the filters until you find the hot-dog. Once that’s done, you can drag it around your screen and resize it with your fingers. Pretty simple-yet pretty hilarious. As you can imagine, the internet has been going to town with the memes. Is it annoying? Is it hilarious? Who cares. What I think the most important part of this hot-dog is how the introduction of augmented reality (AR) on snapchat and other platforms can add another dimension of entertainment in a social setting.

 

For those who aren’t familiar, AR is a live direct or indirect view of a physical, real-world environment whose elements are augmented by compuer-generated images, sound, video, or even GPS data. Remember Pokemon Go last year? Pokemon Go for me was the first time that users were able to experience AR in a completely accessible and fun way for users to engage.  While the hot-dog is much simpler than Pokemon Go, these two examples show how AR is and can become a huge way we interact online. Moving on from actually using it on Snapchat, the memes that came from this were insane. Here are some of my favourites.

Yes this is another viral craze that will die in a few weeks, but I think the implications from this, something so simple, can be effective not only in a social setting, but in advertising as well. It’s literally just a dancing hot-dog. Think of the potential from a marketing point of view. If brands can figure out how to effectively incorporate AR technology into advertising initiatives, the possibilities are endless. We’ve seen success with Pokemon Go. We’ve seen success with the hot-dog. We’ve ultimately figured it out. Now how do we bring this success into advertising? Only time will tell. Long story short, AR is the future. It’s fun yet scalable in complexity. Pokemon Go was a massive endeavour with plenty of moving parts. A dancing hot-dog is…well not that complicated. Do you see the difference? In the future, I’d really love to see how AR is integrated not only in our social spaces, but how successful advertisers will be able to use it to advance their brand.

Malick Ba is an advertising and marketing specialist currently living in Toronto, Canada. As an alumni of both the University of Ottawa and Humber College, Malick specializes in communications, advertising, and marketing. Currently, Malick works at an advertising agency in downtown Toronto and is looking forward to how he can further leave his mark upon the advertising and marketing world. Follow him on Instagram, and connect with him on LinkedIn.

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