The local marketing scene continues to be full of potential, talent and self-imposed limitations.
Many marketers remain persistent in the classic ways of mass audience reach and books from college years past. Although there is a growing number of marketers, both traditional and digital focused, that are pushing boundaries to reach audiences with more exciting and/or more tailored advertising and marketing, a gap remains.
In order to move forward, local marketers need to look further into the future of content provided to potential consumers. With so many new technologies that could be easily taken and implemented in various markets and marketing techniques, there are a lot of novel and innovative ways to grab attention in today’s world.
Think Marketing Magazine recently spoke with upcoming AR and VR marketing experts, CGEVO (Computer Graphic Evolution), and their Managing Director Ahmed Feteih about how close the future of consumer engagement is here in Egypt, and how audiences are taking it.
Before we really get into it, could you quickly explain your services?
We generally think that our biggest value proposition is the feeling of awe that we garner from our users.
We provide real, unique and immersive experiences to a populace that has never been exposed to this novel technology.
In other words, we value the idea of inspiring people, bridging gaps and leaping a step forwards over regular marketing communication methods.
CGEVO is a market leader in augmented reality and virtual reality technologies and provides augmented reality-based solutions with all its types: Marker Based, Marker less, Mixed Reality etc… We link the real world with reality generated by the computer, creating unique sales and marketing tools.
[We] provide cutting-edge technologies for Virtual Reality using the best available render engines to fulfill high expectations of our clients… interactive experiences of a real-world environment [where] objects that reside in the real-world are “augmented” and unique, custom made interactive [smartphone] applications matching our client’s business strategies.
How do local audiences usually react?
Audience engagement comes right in the core of our profession, as we create real engaging games that respect the gamer in an array of digitally immersive experiences.
In all our digital installations, the crowd in the exhibitions are always awed with delight with our work.
Why should brands use this type of interactive content?
The digital age isn’t about tomorrow, it’s about today; that’s why since we started 5 years ago, we’ve introduced a diverse market of immersive digital technology solutions that best cater to a locally evolving market.
With on ground activations and direct marketing communication methods that are losing their creative edge, the digital field comes into play as one of the most innovative solutions that tackle the market on a variety of different levels. Marketing departments are now starting to merge digitally related solutions in their yearly plan, as the demand for more interactive content paves the way for an all new playing field.
How can brands use this tech to their advantage?
An ever-emerging need for interactive content has started to emerge in the MENA region, brands are starting to realize the limitless possibilities of the literal future of marketing.
From showcasing interactive content regarding products, consumer goods or even complex commodities;
[Interactive experiences] are able to break down processes and product specifications into digestible and graphically engaging material, set in a fully immersive reality
Of our many clients, Siemens Egypt stands out as one of the best examples of our success.
We’ve created and launched a virtual reality application, showcasing three of the world’s largest power plants, supporting millions of homes. The VR experience alone has been critically acclaimed due to its brilliant graphics, stunning audio and visual feedback and a 360 tour of the plant premises.
The same applies to any field, given the fact that we allow ourselves to not only aid in informative involvement in the marketing process, we also help simplify existing product complexities, by breaking it down through means of interactive inclusion.
Where, in a brand’s marketing funnel or plan, can AR and VR fit?
From raising awareness all the way through stirring interest and nurturing sales, we are perfectly certain that [immersive experiences] fit in a variety of different phases in the marketing funnel.
How happy are your clients with their VR, AR and interactive application experiences? and could you provide an example?
So far, we have catered over 50 experiences over the course of the last 5 years. Since then one of our biggest returns has been through the eyes of our audiences, who have never failed to see the effort put into gaming and interactive experiences.
It really is a pleasure to see people in genuine wonder regarding our 3D, VR and AR developments that have drawn smiles, even on the most senior of people.
On one occasion, we were able to introduce a digitally integrated RC race track, tailored for Ford’s Cairo International Motor Show 2018 event in Egypt, using actual miniature RC cars.
[P]articipants were separated in adjacent rooms, as they were told to have their car place first, no matter the setting in the rooms.
…we introduced staged weather conditions including snow, smoke, & strong [winds], just so our gamers would engage fully into the race itself.
The results were impeccable, as more and more of watching on goers sought out to both participate in the game, with some even willing to play for a second round.
What is the potential of sales locally with AR and VR technologies?
Potential sales are scattered all across the market, with automotive taking the lead, followed by fast moving consumer goods, the real estate and pharmaceutical markets.
Bear in mind that we still haven’t explored the full potential of possibilities that AR and VR technologies provide, but we’re adamant that there’s a lot of Blue Ocean to cover, in an ever-evolving market place.
How do you see VR and AR, within local marketing, in the future?
We have been able to project higher demand as we raise continuous awareness, realized through our successful previous experiences. By broadening the horizons of our audiences through our work, our clients seem to have grasped the concept of the importance of AR and VR experiences in Egypt. These alone projects a very lucrative future… as we’re sure we can kick up marketing schemes a notch or two, within the upcoming 2 years.
What do you feel are the trends of the industry today?
Well, most of our trend projections lean towards FMCGs and automotive industry where a list of automotive companies come to mind.
Some of the most renowned car brands, such as: Ford, MG, Toyota, Nissan, Volkswagen, JAC, Hyundai & BMW represent a trend of returning clients, who have not only witnessed an impressive return on investment, but have also been inspired to try out a myriad of different ideas in their following events.
We’ve also been able to project that the trends also lean towards activations in the area of technology, as we’ve introduced Samsung’s Note 8 & 9, the Samsung s7 edge, using interactive activations & newly developed smart booths that drive astonishing interest among our crowd of fans.
There’s a whole lot of ground to cover before we can start pinpointing ongoing trends, especially in the local market.
Tell us, what was your first experience with VR like? Was it what inspired you to work on interactive technologies?
The first time we used an VR Oculus, I tried out a thriller; the game was not only terrifying, but the genius and detail put into the game left us in a state where we pondered how we could introduce this in the Egyptian market.
VR and AR technologies are the backbone of tomorrow’s marketing solutions, we are simply proud to take part in its introduction.
What about your favorite CGEVO experience?
My personal favorite CGEVO experience would be introducing a lion into the heart of a BAIC SENOVA vehicle [at its] launch back in AUTOMECH 2015.
The live AR experience not only excited users, but the sheer reverence and admiration of our audiences has left a mark with me, as we keep remembering our audience gasps and wild applause, as the lion trampled over the vehicle live on an LED display.
Lastly, what are you most excited about with your company, CGEVO?
We as a team, are generally excited towards the future of AR and VR in Egypt.
We’re made up of a group of unique professional co-founders, who have been adamant to walk the whole 9 yards, no matter where our imagination and clientele lead us. We’re excited for the collaboration and collective effort our people have put into our company and have helped shape CGEVO into what it is today.
I would like to pin point that being a part of this company and even through the process of the project from brief to implementation, we still get surprised from the impressive final output delivered to the client.
Of the many things we’re also excited about is the introduction of the Microsoft HOLOLENS Mixed reality glasses. We’ve worked very hard to try and get a preliminary hand on the upcoming cutting-edge technology, which effectively blends between both reality and simulation.
You might even hear about it in the upcoming Cairo ICT 2018 Exhibition, with a leading telecommunication giant regarding the matter. We’re hoping that we’ll be the first company in Egypt to develop and implement its very first Mixed Reality (MR) experience.