The playground effect: How augmented reality drives creative customer engagement

Alexander Jessen, Tim Hilken, Mathew Chylinski, Dominik Mahr, Jonas Heller*, Debbie Isobel Keeling, Ko de Ruyter

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

120 Citations (Scopus)


Across various customer experiences, Augmented Reality (AR) is emerging as a strategic experience design tool. This study contributes to an emerging body of research on the use of AR in the early stages of customers’ purchase journeys. Extending previous research, we propose that AR enables a unique form of customer creativity that is distinct from prior conceptualizations of creativity through its association with customer engagement. Specifically, we propose a sequential process of creative customer engagement, in which AR-enabled customer creativity stems from heightened customer engagement and, in turn, offers a source of intrinsic satisfaction for customers. In an experiment with a customer-facing AR application, we empirically demonstrate this sequential mediation process connecting the use of AR with customer engagement, customer creativity, and anticipated satisfaction. We also identify an important boundary condition based on a customer's assessment orientation, suggesting a novel behavioral effect in the context of regulatory mode theory.

Original languageEnglish
Peer-reviewed scientific journalJournal of Business Research
Pages (from-to)85-98
Number of pages14
Publication statusPublished - 2020
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article - refereed


  • 512 Business and Management
  • Augmented Reality
  • Customer creativity
  • Customer engagement
  • Purchase journey
  • Regulatory mode


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