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December 20, 2022

Augmented Reality Marketing, with Ani Manjavidze

There are myriad applications for augmented reality technology — but how will it change the future of marketing?

As we march on through the information age, new technology emerges year after year that astounds, delights, and even terrifies us. From DeepFake and AI to the Metaverse and all it incorporates — the future looks almost limitless.

We kicked off season 2 of Tevent Talks, with Ani Madjavidze of CrossCreators, to discuss the past, present and future of augmented reality marketing. With a background in traditional advertising, Ani is an expert in the field and knows first-hand the benefits of utilising emerging technology. Watch the full episode below, or read on for the highlights.

After running into some difficulty making immersive experiences for brands, Ani decided to take action, and CrossCreators was born. It’s a marketplace for augmented reality marketing that allows brands to get bespoke AR content from creators without the hassle.

Ever since the dawn of Snapchat, AR has become increasingly popular — and with that popularity has come newer and more exciting applications. As Ani tells us, AR isn’t just about filters — it’s “never-ending learning”, with endless formulae and possibilities.

What even is augmented reality?

Augmented reality is, at its core, “a technology to bring digital assets into our reality”. It’s activated through a camera on our phones, tablets, and more recently, eyewear. The implications of AR can quite literally change the world as we see and experience it.

According to Ani, AR has been around for a while but became more popular in recent years after becoming mobile-enabled, and therefore highly accessible. With more than 2 billion AR mobile users, it was only a matter of time before it gained traction in marketing and sales strategies.

AR wasn’t always this accessible — and despite its present popularity, it still has a long way to go before it reaches its full potential. According to Tech Crunch, the main problems faced by the industries championing the tech are:

  1. The hardware isn’t ready;
  2. Current platforms aren’t ready;
  3. The developers aren’t ready;
  4. Their users don’t want it yet.

Augmented Reality offers myriad opportunities that benefit brands, and CrossCreators is fantastic if you don’t know where to start. They offer protection to their creators so there’s no time wasted on dead-end projects, and keep things running smoothly and on time so there’re no issues for the client either.

By taking the pressure off the creators to go out and find clients, they can focus on what they’re best at — being creative. As Ani puts it, Cross Creators gives creators “security that this project will be finalised and creators will monetise their skills safely without losing time in communication with the brands.”

Ani’s mission is to make the complex world of AR easily accessible to all — so that everyone can reap the abundant benefits. She believes that if the true potential of AR is communicated effectively, then this will propel the medium forward and produce greater and greater results.

How is AR being used?

In marketing, AR can be used for what Ani calls “first-party and third-party marketing”, which will both garner different results. CrossCreators can help you to understand the different applications for AR, and guide those who may not have previous experience in the field.

By Ani’s definition, “first-party marketing AR experiences are being built into our own websites or applications, and the difference between them is that web-based experiences are being activated through our browser.” These experiences are often more complex than a standard filter but can be incredibly enthralling when executed correctly.

“Web-based AR uses a mobile phone’s sensors to enable digital content to be placed and tracked within the physical environment. Using these sensors and computer vision, AR technology can deliver animated 3D experiences, videos, target detection, and interactivity.” — RockPaperReality

The AR experiences that most are familiar with are what Ani calls third-party AR marketing, where they “use third-party platforms like Facebook, and Instagram” to activate filters or effects. This is often the best first step for brands to take, especially for start-ups and SMEs as they’re a lower budget.

With third-party marketing, you don’t have to rely on pre-existing website traffic and can reach a wider audience. Brands can also test out different experiences to figure out what type of content works best for their customers.

In Ani’s words, AR makes the user the hero of the experience — a feat that can rarely be achieved by other, more traditional forms of marketing. For Ani “classic advertising is not working anymore” and the clicks gained from ads are often accidental. It’s certainly true that PPC can indeed be a money-sink when not optimised correctly — but there’re no guaranteed clicks for AR marketing either.

How can you utilise AR effectively?

As you’d expect, there’s “no silver bullet” in AR marketing, and “every brand needs a tailored approach” in order to succeed. Ani suggests proper planning with an agency like CrossCreators, and asking a few questions before getting started:

  1. What is your objective?
  2. What’s your current plan to achieve these objectives?
  3. Is your motivation 'visibility', 'brand awareness', 'sales-boosting' or 'engagement'?
  4. What feeling do you want to convey to your customers?
  5. How does this fit into your wider campaign?

The skills for general advertising are transferable, so if you’re good at traditional marketing, you’ll likely be good at AR marketing. According to Ani, compared to “classic advertising” such as video content, AR marketing has a “four times better customer engagement rate” which could increase your sales.

When using AR, your brand is interacting directly with customers and clients on a human level, so it can be a great way for them to “experience and explain your difficult product in a really amusing and informative way”.

The future of AR marketing

Augmented reality differs from virtual reality in that you experience it alongside the real world, as an addition rather than a replacement. You’re not fully losing touch with reality, but rather extending the bounds of what is possible.

Though you can access it practically everywhere now, in the future we’ll likely see eyewear becoming more prevalent. There are many use cases for this, that can have fun applications through games and filters, or even life-changing uses such as captioned speech for deaf users.

Ani is a champion of AR for the future, believing that it can make our lived reality better. We do still need in-person meetings, but AR can even enhance our “offline experiences” too. Ani hopes that there are more offline experiences for those interested in AR marketing in the future, where experiences can be had IRL to truly share and engage with the technology and one another.

One thing’s for sure, the future of AR marketing looks bright, and we’re truly excited to see what happens next. New technologies from Apple and Meta are on the horizon, and it seems every year there’s a fresh development to get excited about.

If you want to learn more about how you can make the most of AR marketing, head over to CrossCreators today to get started.

Stay tuned to see what’s coming up next on Tevent Talks by joining the Space here, where you can re-watch past episodes and be notified when new talks are live.

Are you an expert in your field? Would you like to feature as a guest on an upcoming Tevent Talks episode? If so, please contact Peter Ruppert ( for more information.

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