In today’s media world, the advent of the Internet has revolutionized the advertising industry, from how ads are created to how they are targeted and delivered. Social mediaalso plays a pivotal role in enhancing brand awareness. And the common assumption, perhaps, is the more time people spend online, the more opportunities there is to engage them through marketing. But with this rise in digital technology comes an inherent obstacle. Just how do you break through the clutter? The more content people consume, the more difficult it is to capture their interest, after all. And what can be done to enhance the end user’s experience?

Consumers are being shown so much advertising throughout the day that is takes something special to grab their attention.

“Brands have gotten lazy to some degree - producing the same content, in the same formats, for the same channels and expecting improved results. That simply does not work anymore,” noted Mike Tankel, partner/optimist at the marketing and development firm To Be Continued. “What brands should be creating is content with more disruption and more contextuality, offering consumers a never-before experience. Media dollars go a lot further when you do something unique.”

For Eric Singleton, CEO and co-founder of Strax Networks, the solution is an immediate engaging and immersive experience through augmented reality (AR) that, in his words, “captivates users and drives revenue for businesses.”

Launched in 2021, StraxAR blends the digital world with the physical world of entertainment, music, retail and visual art, or any category, by augmenting digital content onto a physical object or image. Through the StraxAR app (for iOS and Android and distributed worldwide) the end user simply points their device to the target image. Instantly the virtual experience begins. StraxAR can work with any image, including moving images on film. And there is no limit to what you can use it for.

“The obvious benefit of Strax is the immediate deeper engagement with the subjects, whether it is a product, or a book, a song, or a film and/or TV show,” said Eric Singleton. “Unlike a more traditional ad, the individual using Strax is making a conscious intentional choice to access that additional content. It is not thrust upon them, and is therefore not obtrusive.”

“That deeper engagement is the hallmark of the value of this product, not only what it does but how it does it,” he noted. “For an advertiser or a brand, it is a way to get noticed. For the end user, the possibilities to bring anything to life are endless.”

By definition, augmented reality (AR) merges the real world with the digital world, bringing digital elements to life in real-world settings. StraxAR revitalizes physical objects and environments with audio, video, text, graphics, and virtual enhancements. It also includes a "redirect" feature, swiftly guiding users to another destination after their Strax experience. There, they can access various options, such as downloading digital products, music, tickets, merchandise, exclusive live streams of performances, and more.

Through the StraxAR technology, users can enhance any experience via a phone scan and marketers can use the technology to drive sales.

“What immediately comes to mind when I think of the Strax app or any took of a utilizing virtual reality is a way for consumers to get bonus TV or movie content,” said Robert Russo, President and CEO of RNR Media Consulting. “You can stop it at any point and click on different things for more details or information, which can be of benefit to both the viewer and the advertiser.”

“This is reminiscent of when DVD sets offered extra material,” he said. “It enhances the end user’s experience. It can be used as a promotional tool in a way that does not feel like a traditional advertisement. And, with so many platforms now housing content, both on linear and digital, it is a way to stand out. At some point, I think these added content incentives through an app like StraxAR will become a necessity.”

An Immersive and Interactive Experience

For an artist, a brand, a platform, an organization, or any marketer targeting any subject or category, the promotional opportunities via “straxing” provides direct and immediate connection with consumers and fans worldwide. Legendary guitarist Robby Krieger of the Doors is using StraxAR in his memoir, Set the Night on Fire: Living, Dying and Playing Guitar with the Doors, offering readers exclusive video clips, both personal and professional, related to the subject of that page or chapter.

“The decades-long love of The Doors worldwide and the book being published in different countries meant we had to quickly and simultaneously make Robby’s content respond to different language images for all their fans, one of the many strengths of the StraxAR platform,” said Eric Singleton. “We are working to define new models in publishing, and in any other industry that wants to connect with people in a deeper, more impactful way.”

In Set the Night on Fire, Krieger offers an unfiltered look at his life, career, and memories of Jim Morrison, whose early death stunned and saddened the rock and roll world. As a result of StraxAR programming, Krieger’s readers can now access a trove of digital content that deepens their experience with color commentary on personal and professional moments from Krieger’s life in, and away from, the spotlight.

“I’m hoping StraxAR will allow my readers to get a much deeper experience from my book, and will enable me to add a lot of music, video, and words that I was unable to put in it. Stand by, get the app, and I’ll try to add a bunch of cool stuff by the end of the year,” said Robby Krieger in a statement.

New York Rangers captain Jacob Trouba, meanwhile, uses StraxAR for his growing collection of art that is now being showcased for charity.

“I guess I have two sides; the angry guy out there playing hockey and the more thoughtful and sensitive guy at home that I express through my art,” said Jacob Trouba. “When I heard about Strax and this idea of augmented reality, I am now able to tell the backstory of each painting without physically being there. There is immediate access to exclusive video through just a phone scan, it is easy to use, and it brings my art to a different dimension. It is now more than just a painting on the wall.”  Merging visual storytelling through film, there is a bottomless well of uses in augmented reality using the StraxAR app.

“Basically, we can take an inanimate object and bring it to life via a phone scan,” noted Eric Singleton. “Entertainment is the obvious connection. But there is no limit to what it can be used for, and you can change the content immediately, cost effectively, and as much as you want.”

“We have to stop talking about the technology and focus on the experience we are providing consumers,” noted Mike Tankel. “Services like StraxAR deliver the content and promotions we already have in a new, efficient manner that allows the customer to be in control of when they want it and what they do with it.”

“The opportunity is not in leveraging the technology, but allowing it to take us to new places with this new generation of engaging content,” he said. “It might be augmented reality, but the experiences, the results, and the opportunities are 100 percent real.”