Augmented Reality, The Game-Changer
I’ll never forget seeing my first major-league baseball game. At the age of seven I had watched countless Red Sox games on TV, but nothing prepared me for the pure awe I felt when I walked out from under the grandstand that summer Saturday. The colors, sounds and smells of Fenway Park engulfed my senses in a way that I can vividly recall. It was nothing like watching it on TV.
Experiences matter. That’s why every year about 35,000 urologists congregate in one place: the AUA tradeshow. It’s the Worlds Series of marketing for any medical brand that needs to get the attention of this coveted audience.
But what do you do when the game gets cancelled?!? Just as we were on the cusp of helping Olympus launch a brand new, game-changing product to combat kidney stones, COVID hit. Like so many other tradeshows this year, AUA was no longer an option. What’s a marketer to do?
I’ll get to that in a moment, but first a little background:
Some say the pain from a kidney stone is comparable to child birth. So it’s a darn good thing that most urologists have a powerful tool for this. It’s a laser – a really big, loud, clunky machine (picture something the size of a stove being rolled into an operating room). It’s so loud that it’s nearly impossible to carry on a conversation. The plug is huge as is the special high-powered outlet it needs. And it throws a ton of heat.
That’s been the industry standard for decades. Now Olympus was about to introduce a far superior laser that’s less than 1/8 the size, closer in every way to a microwave oven than a stove. Think iPhone vs. pay phone. There are high expectations for this product, called SOLTIVE, with many at Olympus hoping that it disrupts the entire industry.
After a year of strategic and creative effort we had created a strong, fully-integrated launch campaign. Our research showed that SOLTIVE was so dramatically different, urologists would need to see it in person to believe it. But without any big event for people to see, touch or hear SOLTIVE, we were missing that “certain something” that only happens in-person. Just like my first ball game.
Luckily, we had a secret weapon: Augmented Reality. Anyone with an iPhone can experience for themselves just how physically different SOLTIVE is by placing it at actual size anywhere they want. The kitchen table, their desk, the beach and of course the operating room. You can walk around and see all sides of it and play with its touch screen.
The 3D image is so realistic that many people forget that it’s not really there. The app actually picks up the light source in the room and creates accurate shadows and textures. I have watched more than a few people reach out and try to touch it - only to be “surprised” that it isn’t actually there.
You’re probably a little skeptical and may be wondering “how is this any different than a photo or a video?” That’s a question best answered by trying it for yourself https://apps.apple.com/us/app/soltive-laser/id1511018980. It may not have quite the splendor of a first ball game at Fenway. But it’s the talk of the entire industry - in the middle of a pandemic.