New Publication: Why a WOW-Effect is not enough in Augmented Reality

Our new study shows that AR can elicit a “wow effect”, but this wow effect does not translate into behavior. Read more here.


Augmented Reality (AR) is an innovative concept that enriches consumers’ perception of the real world with virtual content. Prior research has shown that AR has the potential to inspire consumers and improve marketing outcomes, yet very little is known about the mechanisms through which AR inspires users. This research decomposes the AR-inspiration relationship and shows how psychological inspiration (i.e. inspired-by) translates to behavioral inspiration (i.e. inspired-to). The Lego Playground AR app is used to empirically test the hypotheses that the “wow-effect” (awe) and nostalgia serve as important mediators to the AR initiated inspiration process. While nostalgia is found to fully mediate the link between psychological and behavioral inspiration, the “wow-effect” does not significantly mediate this relationship. This research is the first to show inspiration unfold as a granular process. The meaningful associations generated through nostalgia translate psychological inspiration into consumer action, and this understanding may allow legacy brands to leverage latent nostalgia in new AR applications to influence consumer behavior.

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