As platforms and technology have grown increasingly sophisticated, brands have more tools to create compelling stories. But more resources and customer touch points also mean that cutting through the noise is more challenging than ever.

Luckily, we are on the brink of a new age of digital storytelling, one that will be steeped in augmented and virtual reality experiences. Augmented reality is changing the game for good, because it enables organizations to bring consumers into their stories, rather than simply producing content for viewers to passively consume. With the recent rollout of Apple’s ARKit, which enables developers to build their own augmented platforms and experiences, 2018 is poised to be the year that augmented reality is no longer viewed as a novelty, but as a pillar of digital content.

Related: Expecting Revolutionary Innovation From Apple’s Reveal Event? You’re Missing the Point.

Some brands are ahead of the curve and have already experimented with augmented campaigns and physical experiences to immerse customers in more compelling stories. If you’re planning to explore ways in which your brand can jump on the augmented bandwagon, take a page out of these brand’s books.

MTV

The MTV VMA’s are used to raising the stakes. But historically, the production has relied on live performances and candid moments to hook viewers. This year, however, MTV decided not to rest on its laurels, and instead launched an aggressive augmented-reality based campaign to entice viewers before the big night. The network turned its iconic Moonman logo into an augmented effect that allowed fans to place images of themselves in the Moonman on Facebook.

Related: Why Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality Will be Important for Your Business

National Geographic

National Geographic has built a media powerhouse by bringing every corner of the Earth to life through bold, lifelike photography and videos. With augmented reality, National Geographic can take that one step further. The media company dipped its foot into augmented waters at the 2017 SXSW festival to promote its scripted Albert Einstein series, Genius.

This new phase of the company’s life presents an interesting challenge, because the scripted television landscape is already overcrowded with quality narratives. To break through the noise and establish itself as a force out of the gate, National Geographic knew it had to make bold marketing plays. The augmented reality installation allowed festival-goers to essentially go into the mind of Albert Einstein by building out Einstein’s mathematical theories virtually and mapping them to physical objects in the room, ultimately enabling visitors to interact with Einstein’s ideas.

Related: Don’t Get Too Fancy in Your Marketing — Authenticity Always Wins

Adobe

Adobe’s recent venture into the realm of augmented reality proves that this technology is more than a gimmick — it has the potential to instill real value for consumers and businesses alike. Adobe’s HoloLens developments showcased the ways in which augmented visualizations can overlay actual in-store settings to offer more insight into who shoppers are and how they behave. The applications include data paths hovering above a store layout to illuminate common traffic routes and smart mirrors that instantly relay insights about which items are being tried on and which are being purchased.

These brands prove that there’s no right way to implement an augmented strategy. Tapping into augmented reality development platforms gives brands the agency to determine how to best bring experiences and stories to life for specific audiences.

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