Augmented Reality Brand Experiences: Exploring Psychological, Cognitive, and Sensory Aspects: An Abstract

Jennifer B. Barhorst, Graeme McLean, Nina Krey, Heiner Evanschitzky, Ana Javornik

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


Augmented reality (AR), which overlays a virtual world onto the real world (Javornik 2016), provides tremendous opportunities for brands to engage consumers through psychological, cognitive, and sensory processes as they interact with the technology. Due to the rapid development of AR, however, there is a dearth of research to understand how individual psychological, cognitive, and sensory aspects associated with AR brand experiences influence commonly studied outcome behaviors. With company investments in AR technology set to increase to $195 billion by 2025 and consumer downloads of mobile AR applications expected to reach 5.5 billion by 2022 (Statista 2020), the need to deepen the understanding of this burgeoning technology’s impact on consumption experiences is of importance to both firms and scholars. We seek to address this gap by examining the psychological, cognitive, and sensory aspects of AR experiences that foster positive brand outcomes through the elicitation of episodic memories. A concept that was initially introduced by Tulving (1972) over 40 years ago, episodic memory is a memory system that facilitates the remembrance of personally experienced events associated with particular times or places that are triggered by a retrieval cue. Episodic retrieval involves an interaction between a ‘retrieval cue’ (self-generated or by the environment) and a memory trace leading to some or all aspects of the episode in the trace (Rugg and Wilding 2000). It does so by inducing Chronethesia, a conscious awareness of being present while remembering the past (Tulving 1985). Further, and of interest to marketers, priming of episodic memory not only induces memories of the past, but also triggers the ability to re-experience one’s own previous experiences through mental time travel. During this particular experience, one not only remembers the past but feels like being in and re-living a specific past moment. This feeling of re-living the experience is a state that includes characteristics such as seeing, hearing, and feeling what occurred in the past event (Tulving 2002). In this between-subjects study with over 800 participants, we compare AR to a range of digital brand stimuli from one seasonal campaign. The campaign stimuli included an AR experience, a branded website 360-experience, a video advertisement, and a static image. The results suggest that sensory and atmospheric aspects of AR not only have the capability of triggering episodic memories, but when compared to other conditions, they enhance episodic memory’s effect on behavioral intentions through the elicitation of mental time travel. Therefore, findings from this study add to the extant literature on AR’s ability to foster positive brand outcomes through the elicitation of episodic memory and mental time travel.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationDevelopments in Marketing Science
Subtitle of host publicationProceedings of the Academy of Marketing Science
PublisherSpringer Nature
Number of pages2
StatePublished - 2022

Publication series

NameDevelopments in Marketing Science: Proceedings of the Academy of Marketing Science
ISSN (Print)2363-6165
ISSN (Electronic)2363-6173

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Strategy and Management
  • Marketing


Dive into the research topics of 'Augmented Reality Brand Experiences: Exploring Psychological, Cognitive, and Sensory Aspects: An Abstract'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this