How AR is Changing Billboard Advertising

AR for Billboards

How Augmented Reality is Changing Billboard Advertising

Billboard advertising has been around for decades; and it works. Billboards make up less than 3% of all North American advertising spend, but they reach 72% of the population, 71% of people consciously look at billboard advertisements, they can result in 1,000s of impressions per day and a study by Nielsen found that billboards resulted in a 20% increase in brand awareness. What more can be said? Billboard advertising is an extremely efficient form of advertising, and much more effective than many other media types.

QR codes are no strangers to billboards and have been widely used to attract fleeting attention from passersby. By scanning these QR codes, viewers can access online information about the advertised content. Marketers have capitalized on the advantage of QR codes on billboards, as they enable users to connect with online information seamlessly and provide valuable engagement metrics. QR code technology proves to be immensely beneficial in scenarios where additional information needs to be made available, but space is limited. Moreover, it enjoys widespread popularity among consumers, with 39% expressing their inclination towards increased QR code usage, and 67% acknowledging its ability to streamline daily life.

Supercharged with AR

Now imagine replacing the humble QR code with one of the most powerful, engaging, and memorable interactive media experiences currently available in the market; Augmented Reality, or more appropriately WebAR, a web-based variant that is delivered via a QR code. With response rates exceeding 40% and click-through rates well above 50%, WebAR is not only a powerhouse engagement solution but also boasts some of the richest behavioural analytics in the industry, including engagement duration, IP addresses, and even GPS location of scans. These metrics are vital for evaluating the performance of specific billboard locations. It could be said that WebAR is like QR codes on steroids, and then when combined with the effectiveness of billboard advertising, outdoor media has just skyrocketed to a whole new level.

One of the biggest advantages of AR billboards is that they can be more interactive than traditional billboards. For example, an AR billboard could allow users to scan a QR code with their smartphone to see a 3D model of a product or to play a game. This type of interactivity can help to capture attention and keep users engaged.

AR billboards can also be more personalized than traditional billboards. For example, an AR billboard could use GPS data to show users information about businesses or events that are nearby. This type of personalization can help to make ads more relevant to users and can increase the likelihood that they will take action.

In addition to being more interactive and personalized, AR billboards can also be more engaging than traditional billboards. AR ads can transport users to different worlds, allow them to interact with virtual objects, and provide them with a more immersive experience. This type of engagement can help to create a stronger emotional connection between users and brands.

In addition to driving higher levels of engagement and conversions, Interactive Signage can also provide marketers with valuable insights about their customers’ behaviors and interests. Through tracking user interactions, marketers can gain valuable insight into what customers are looking for, where they are looking for it, and how they interact with various experiences. This data can then be used to optimize future campaigns and help marketers better understand their target audience.

Overall, AR is a powerful technology that has the potential to revolutionize interactive billboard advertising. AR enabled billboards can be more interactive, personalized, and engaging than traditional billboards, and they can help brands to connect with consumers in new and innovative ways.


Here are some examples of how AR is being used in interactive billboard advertising:

Calvin Klein: One of Calvin Klein’s billboard ads featured a prominent red QR code, compelling viewers to “Get It Uncensored.” Scanning the code unveiled an exclusive 40-second AR commercial showcasing models like Lara Stone, “AJ,” Sid Ellisdon, and more. After watching the spot, viewers had the option to share the code on their social media accounts. Image source

Calvin Klein billboard


Victoria’s Secret: The leading lingerie company seamlessly integrated QR codes into their interactive billboard ads as part of the “Sexier than Skin” campaign, enticing viewers to scan the codes. Scanning directed customers to a landing page showcasing the brand’s latest lingerie collection. Image source

Victoria's Secret billboard


BTS: The immensely popular South Korean boy band enabled their fans to access exclusive content using interactive billboards. Scanning the QR code led fans to the “Armypedia” website, an engaging platform where they could explore various interactive facets of the band’s world. Image source

BTS billboard


Time Magazine: TIME Magazine placed an interactive billboard advertising near Times Square in New York City that linked readers to additional value-added web content. The content included interactive videos, polls and thought-provoking articles about current events. Image source

Time Magazine billboard


Other notable examples of brands leveraging QR codes on billboards include The North Face, Spotify, and McDonald’s, each with their unique approach to engaging with their audience.

These are just a few examples of how AR is being used in billboard advertising. As the technology continues to develop, we can expect to see even more innovative and creative uses of AR in billboard advertising in the future.

Effective Implementation

It’s one thing to elevate billboard advertising to a new level using QR codes and WebAR but there are some technical considerations to consider when planning campaigns.

1. Easy to scan: Make sure the QR code is visible and easily scannable. Optimize its size and location, considering the audience’s passing glance while prioritizing visibility.

2. Call to action: To encourage scanning, provide a compelling call to action that intrigues viewers. What’s in it for the consumer? Inform them of the benefits they will gain from accessing the interactive content. The more rewarding the offer, the higher the engagement rate. Tip: If delivering Augmented Reality content, then say so … consumers love engaging with AR.

3. Mobile-friendly: Since an interactive signage experience, including WebAR, is primarily scanned and delivered using smartphones, ensure that any content linked to the QR code is mobile-friendly. This way, viewers can seamlessly engage with the content on their devices.

By understanding the potential of QR codes and optimizing their implementation, marketers can unlock new dimensions of interactivity and engagement in their billboard advertising campaigns.

If you are a business owner who is looking for new ways to reach your target audience, AR advertising is a technology that you should consider. AR billboards can help you to create more engaging and memorable advertising campaigns that will help you to stand out from the competition.

Contact us if you’d like to learn more about supercharging your billboard advertising with Augmented Reality.

Enter your details below if you would like to learn how Augmented Reality can supercharge your communication and marketing strategy.

Start Free Trial

Register for a Free 30-Day Trial to see how simple it is to create Interactive Print & Augmented Reality campaigns using UnifiedAR’s intuitive self-service platform.

Try It Free

Contact Us

With a global network of Authorized Solutions Partners and offices in the United States and Australia, UnifiedAR is a global yet local provider of Interactive Print & Augmented Reality solutions.

Contact Us

Become a Partner

Interactive Print & Augmented Reality for Printers, Mailers & Agencies. Join our Partner Program and start offering Interactive Print & Augmented Reality solutions to your customers under your own brand.

Become a Partner