Most episodes of The Appreciate follow a standard template.
Lord Alan barks out a task. The candidates generally fail miserably. We laugh at them.
Except last week, there was another reason to spark our interest here at Laduma. As part of the task to create a comic, the teams had to use Augmented Reality as part of an interactive front cover.
The Women’s Team certainly thought so – having taken the entire concept seriously, their quasi-educational offering won with a whopping 14,500 orders. The AR cover was a key attraction in securing those sales.
The Men, meanwhile, fell short with a comic that failed to fully engage with the AR audience. It sold just 450 copies. In fact, the comic was terrible all round, but the fact that they didn’t take AR seriously did them no favours whatsoever.
So what, if anything, can we learn from AR’s appearance on The Apprentice?
Take it seriously. Play to its strengths. Don’t dismiss it as ‘just another fad’. Celebrate the fact that AR is hitting the mainstream.
That’s what Laduma CEO Ben Smith had to say when he reacted to last week’s episode: “It was great to see Augmented Reality going into the mainstream again on The Apprentice last week. It’s a sign that immersive technology is becoming more and more a part of everyday life.
“Augmented Reality is something that’s already out there, but to see it featured on a BBC One show gives everyone more visibility on it and helps everyone to understand how it can benefit their businesses in the future.”
Alex Kunawicz, VP of Strategy at Laduma, believes the huge potential of AR is now a step closer to being widely understood.
“The Apprentice is such a mainstream programme on BBC One, that it was seen as an acceptable challenge, that people would understand the technology, which is excellent.
“There are real practical reasons for using AR now and I think the comic book challenge showed that it’s also a different way for certain industries, such as comics to engage with younger people.”
So let’s celebrate the fact that AR is making waves in mainstream media. It might not be taking over the world just yet, but this latest appearance shows you have to take the technology seriously to make it a success.
The Men’s Team didn’t, so they failed miserably.
And at least we had got to have a good laugh at them. As usual.