Research and engagement

My research focuses on consumer behaviour and consumer experience with immersive and digital technologies, especially with augmented reality. For instance, I investigate how users respond to augmented reality in various contexts (such as retail and on social media) and, more generally, how different types of virtual and digital content affect consumer behaviour. Some of my research is interdisciplinary, as I also draw on research from human-computer interaction. I endeavour to engage with media, other academics, companies and organisations to hopefully create further value through my research.

My stellar PhD student Amani Alabed published her work on the anthropomorphism of artificial intelligence and how consumers relate to smart agents from the self-concept. We expect this to become increasingly more prevalent area of research as consumers rely on AI for a range of tasks – not only mechanical, but also emotional and social. Link to the paper we published in Technological Forecasting and Social Change. The photo is from the EMAC conference ’22 in Budapest, where Amani successfully presented this research.

My fabulous co-authors and I have started studying the role of self-avatars in virtual environments – such as the one envisioned by Meta and Mark Zuckerberg – and presented our working paper on this topic for the first time at JAMS Forum at King’s Business School. We discussed the phenomenon of self-avatars in relation to consumer well-being, which is becoming such an important topic in this space, particularly so as the mental health issues are on the rise.

Photo credit – Holition

We were excited to published the first study that focuses on strategic deployment of augmented reality for brands – specifically focused luxury brands. Based on interviews with industry experts and executives, we present four strategic approaches that managers can follow when deploying AR in luxury segment. Journal of Business Research article link.

We had the opportunity to conduct an interdisciplinary (HCI, marketing, social psychology) study that examined what motivations drive users to engage with augmented reality filters on social media. We also show that AR filters have a significant effect on well-being! Article was published in Computers in Human Behavior – see link here

This digital article in Harvard Business Review presents our research on augmented self and explains how augmented reality filters can affect individual self-image. Crucially, we propose different strategies for companies in terms of how they can ensure responsible deployment of augmented reality filter.

In this blog post, my colleagues and I at Marketing & Consumption group published our predictions for Digital Marketing trends in 2022! We cover a range of topics – from metaverse, AI, TikTok influencers, smart devices and more – exciting year ahead. 

We conceptualise the notion of “Augmented self” in the first marketing study that investigates how augmented reality make-up try-on makes consumers feel about themselves. We show that these effects differ significantly depending on person’s appearance self-esteem! See link to the paper published in Journal of Business Research together with Ben Marder, Marta Pizzetti and Luk Warlop.

Our research published in Journal of Retailing is the first one to show how mental simulation of eating experiences depends on the combination of visual-enabling technologies (AR/3D) and product format. A served food – as opposed to packaged food – viewed in AR leads to higher purchase intention, but the opposite holds true for 3D. See link to the paper published together with Olivia Petit and Carlos Velasco.

In this WWD piece, I discuss the importance of virtual try-on as a marketing tool in fashion sectors. It has immense further potential, however well-managed deployment is key in order to avoid it being gimmicky.

Photo credit Accenture Interactive 2020

In this blog post for School of Management at University of Bristol, Dr Emma Slade and I discuss digital marketing trends for 2021 that we expect to make waves in the coming year.

My seminar talk on Human Augmentation at Institute for Artificial Intelligence in Management @EMLyon, kindly hosted by Prof Margherita Pagani. You can listen the talk on this link

Engagement with girl pupils at Newcastle High School for Girls, where I gave a talk and discussed with them the use of augmented reality filters on social media and the effect on self-image. Some more details here.

Masterclass on Consumer experience with Immersive technologies that I organised at Newcastle University Business School with experts from academia and industry. See here a student’s blog post about it.

Conference talk on “MagicFace” and how augmented reality allows opera visitors and performers to step into character. SIGCHI (Computers-Human Interaction) Conference ’17 in Denver. See the full talk here

During my secondment at Holition and UCL, I participated in a very exciting project MagicFace, led by Prof Yvonne Rogers. We investigated how augmented reality can be used in opera in collaboration with English National Opera. See a video here.

Based on my conducted research in the area of augmented reality, I published two digital articles in Harvard Business Review about the use of augmented reality in marketing. See one piece here.