Featured Friend of the XR/AI Pub Crawl: Victor Paru, ‘Idea Guy’ at Paru Digital

Featured Friend of the XR/AI Pub Crawl: Victor Paru, ‘Idea Guy’ at Paru Digital

I first met Victor Paru at our in-person pub crawl in Portland. I remember it was a warm summer day and we had all alighted at a large, wooden table outside at on of my local haunts near the river. Victor was an old pal of Billie’s, having worked together at Intel for several years. Victor was a believer in immersive tech and was excited about what the future held for immersive media and communications.

That was almost a year ago and Victor has attended every pub crawl since. I’m thrilled to share his expertise and passion with our community.

What is your area of expertise?  

I am fluent in creativity, and thrive when I can “SHOW vs TELL” a targeted audience about a new product, service or opportunity. Video and imaging combined with live events are among my strengths and passions.

Why are you interested in XR and AI for marketing and communications?  

Throughout my career, I’ve engaged audiences across physical stages and digital screens. As an AI champion, I recognize its potential and challenges. Innovative marketing and communications are essential in this new era, where good messages and experiences build trust and community. I think AR excites me the most within the XR universe at this time, navigating the real world with its digital potential. 

Do you currently leverage XR and AI for marketing or do you plan to in the near future?  

Yes, I am currently a SW Tech Marketing Engineer at Intel focused on AI technologies and develop demos for executives and events. I have also been running my own agency (Paru Digital) since 2010, providing digital media production and creative services. I continue to integrate AI into my workflows to advance projects and help clients navigate new tools and services to reach new possibilities.

Featured Friend of the XR/AI Pub Crawl: Kelly Wade, Florida’s Natural

Featured Friend of the XR/AI Pub Crawl: Kelly Wade, Florida’s Natural

I first heard of Kelly Wade, the marketing director of Florida’s Natural Growers, as my best friend and I were driving to the coast. We were discussing how I could get larger, national brands to work with my students in a campaigns class I was teaching at the University of Oregon. Billie said she know a woman who worked with Florida’s Natural orange juice – and I was like, “WHAT?! – That’s PERFECT!”. The rest is history was we say, Kelly was extremely receptive to the idea of working with my students and we had a blast crafting campaigns for the brand that would excite and engage Gen Z, several of which included immersive elements.

Since that time, Kelly has continued to support the pub crawl and attend our monthly events. She’s an amazingly gifted and dedicated marketer who sees the potential that XR and AI offer to our profession. I’m THRILLED to feature Kelly this month and appreciate her thoughtful answers to a few questions that will hopefully help you get to know more about her role and her perspective on XR and AI. Enjoy!

What is your area of expertise?  

I’m a marketing/brand person.  My expertise is in CPG and traditional marketing, including product and packaging development and management, pricing, marketing comms, consumer insights and advocacy.

Why are you interested in XR and AI for marketing and communications?  

We’ve actually used augmented reality for a product line we had and we created an app in which scanning the carton package launched an AR video to see the carton come to life.  Although we’ve got that learning under our belt, we have discussed other opportunities, and we’ve had other projects compete for resources.

For a CPG brand, using XR to enhance the consumer experience, and what that looks like is really limited only by imagination, tying it to the equity of the brand.  For example, when we have people visit – vendor/partners, retailer customers, etc. – we usually include a grove tour including learning about the trees and fruit, how citrus is produced and picked, and usually also an in-grove tasting.  It’s ALWAYS the biggest hit of any visit.  Spatial XR offers an opportunity for the Florida’s Natural to extend that tour to anyone with a headset and drive the differentiation of the brand in consumers’ minds.

AI has lots of different applications, though I’m interested now in using it to automate labor-intensive, scenario-type tasks – pricing modeling, media buying, data interpretation, and really anywhere that would benefit from looking for patterns that may not be readily apparent.

I’m also interested in AI’s ability to generate and personalize content.  I think in general, advertising agencies have been slow to respond to AI.  Maybe it has something to do with Sam Altman claiming AI can do 95% of marketing, but there seems to be more openness and receptivity from agencies now.  The big holding companies seem to have dug into questions about usage and ownership, and these will be important for us to have a rock solid understanding up front.  If AI we generate an image, but some other entity actually owns it, what we can are able to use is limited.  I’ve got a meeting scheduled now with our agency to delve into these issues.

Do you currently leverage XR and AI for marketing or do you plan to in the near future?  

We don’t have any specific plans for XR and AI.  I think AI, especially, is becoming woven into a lot of our partners’ solutions, and if we dig into some of our work, it’s happening already.  For us, it will be about it driving value to the brand, ease of use, and affordability. 

Featured Friend of the XR Pub Crawl: Claire Weingarten

Featured Friend of the XR Pub Crawl: Claire Weingarten

I first met Claire, I believe, at one of my first XR Pub Crawl events over a year ago. I had just started hosting the virtual, monthly event for a small group of eager and enthusiastic marketers looking to leverage the power of emerging technologies. She connected with me on LinkedIn and quickly became an engaged and valuable member of our community.

I was fortunate enough to meet Claire in-person at AWE 2023, as she made the trip from New York out to the bay area to attend the XR Pub Crawl’s AWE experience and extravaganza. A two-day event that included a private preview of the showroom floor and a delicious and intimate dinner in San Jose. I immediately recognized her experience and talent within the media industry and realized she had a bright future within the XR and immersive communications.

I’m THRILLED to feature Claire as the very first ‘Friend of the XR Pub Crawl’, as part of my series dedicated to our small but mighty community. You can connect with Claire on LinkedIn and join our next monthly LIVE event happening the third Friday of the month at noon PT. Hope to see you there!

What is your area of expertise?

Visual media has long been an area of expertise for me, and with bachelors and masters degrees in cinema studies, my professional life has spanned a number of arts-related fields–film, streaming video, journalism and social media programming. Several years ago my passion and expertise evolved beyond video-based media to also include immersive experiences and emerging technologies that are creating entirely new channels of communication.

Why are you interested in XR and AI for marketing and communications?

I believe emerging technologies like XR and AI can be instrumental in creating the most meaningful immersive experiences marketers and communicators are able to design for audiences. We have not yet scratched the surface of what these experiential marketing tools are capable of inspiring in audiences who can be transformed by meaningful interactions with brands–interactions that are not possible with more traditional marketing methods.

What are your career aspirations? What do you want to be when you grow up?

I don’t know that I can point to one exact role, however I know it’s vital for me to always be exploring new frontiers in emerging  story-telling mediums, experiential communication and immersive engagements.

The Seven Pillars of AI in Marketing: A Future-Ready Guide & Infographic

The Seven Pillars of AI in Marketing: A Future-Ready Guide & Infographic

A comprehensive list of marketing tasks that can benefit from generative AI application compiled by Lisa Peyton.

Comprehensive List of Marketing Tasks for Generative AI Application

1. Content Creation and Management

  • Copywriting: Generating ad copy, blog posts, social media content, product descriptions.
  • Graphic Design: Creating visual content for campaigns, social media, websites.
  • Video Production: Generating and editing promotional or instructional videos.
  • Content Personalization: Tailoring content to individual customer preferences and behaviors.
  • SEO Optimization: Enhancing content for better search engine ranking.

2. Data Analysis and Insights

  • Market Research: Analyzing market trends and consumer behavior.
  • Customer Data Analysis: Gaining insights from customer data to drive marketing strategies.
  • Performance Analytics: Measuring the success of marketing campaigns and initiatives.
  • Predictive Analysis: Forecasting market trends and consumer behavior.

3. Customer Engagement and Experience

  • Chatbots and Customer Service: Handling customer queries and providing information.
  • Email Marketing: Personalizing and automating email campaigns.
  • Social Media Management: Curating and scheduling social media posts, engaging with followers.
  • Customer Feedback Analysis: Analyzing feedback to improve products and services.

4. Campaign Optimization and Management

  • Ad Targeting and Placement: Optimizing the targeting and placement of digital ads.
  • Campaign Analysis: Evaluating the effectiveness of marketing campaigns.
  • Budget Allocation: Optimizing the marketing budget for maximum ROI.
  • A/B Testing: Automating the process of A/B testing for various marketing elements.

5. Product Marketing and Strategy

  • Product Launch Strategies: Planning and executing product launches.
  • Brand Strategy Development: Crafting and maintaining brand identity and messaging.
  • Market Segmentation: Identifying and targeting specific market segments.
  • Pricing Strategy: Utilizing AI to set and adjust pricing strategies.

6. Digital Marketing and E-commerce

  • Website Personalization: Tailoring website experiences for individual visitors.
  • E-commerce Optimization: Improving online shopping experiences and conversion rates.
  • Online Reputation Management: Monitoring and influencing the online reputation of a brand.
  • Mobile Marketing: Creating and optimizing marketing for mobile platforms.

7. Event Marketing and Public Relations

  • Event Planning and Promotion: Automating aspects of event planning and promotional activities.
  • Press Release Writing and Distribution: Generating and disseminating press releases.
  • Public Sentiment Analysis: Analyzing public sentiment towards the brand or products.
  • Influencer Marketing: Identifying and collaborating with influencers.

Additional Considerations:

  • Prioritize tasks based on the organization’s specific goals and resource availability.
  • Evaluate the current level of technology adoption and staff proficiency in AI to determine training needs.
  • Continuously monitor and adapt to emerging AI capabilities and marketing trends.

This comprehensive list can guide marketing departments in identifying key areas where generative AI can be leveraged to enhance efficiency, creativity, and effectiveness in their operations.

Will Apple’s Vision Pro Make Headsets Mainstream?

Will Apple’s Vision Pro Make Headsets Mainstream?

Originally published on LinkedIn, By Lisa Peyton

The short answer is: NO, at least not this first-gen version of their AR headgear but if you want the more nuanced answer read on.

Perhaps the biggest XR news over the last month was Apple’s announcement of their highly anticipated AR glasses and their new, spatial operating system, Apple Vision Pro. With Oculus founder Palmer Luckey saying it is “so good” in a recent tweet, the tech world can’t help but sit up and take notice. Marketers also need to pay close attention, for in the same way bringing the internet onto a mobile device (think the first iPhone, if you’re old enough to remember) shifted marketing forever, so will the transition from phones and tablets to eyewear and more intuitive methods of consuming the digital content all around us.

Preparing for a chat on the subject with CNN reporter Jennifer Korn, for her post entitled “Apple is determined to make headsets cool”, I read through all of the first-hand accounts of those who have used the headset along with watching the official announcement. I was struck by a few insights:

  • Apple featured both personal and professional use cases for the glasses, even including manufacturing examples, which felt to me like they are unsure where this technology will get traction. The high-price, $3500 bucks, will ensure a limited run and will allow Apple to work with enthusiasts on fine-tuning the platform for future and more affordable versions.
  • Despite the capability of ‘seeing’ the real world through the glasses via near real-time video input from front cameras, several reporters who tried the device, said it felt rather isolating and like they weren’t connected with the real-world around them. Apple might be one step closer to creating a device that can overlay digital content into a real-world environment AND block out that same environment when a user wants to escape into a 3D game or movie; however advances will need to be made in order to make that as seamless as we would like.
  • The headset weighs 1 pound and has enough battery life for a two hour movie. Although still lighter than the Meta’s Quest headset, I think consumers will struggle with wearing a 1 pound device on their head for any prolonged amount of time.
  • Apple is boasting that all of their current iPad and iPhone apps will be compatible at launch, but how will these apps handle one of Vision Pro’s selling points – the use of hand and eye tracking to navigate through content.
  • Apple also announced a partnership with Unity indicating that Unity-based games like Monument Valley, Beatsaber, Pokemon Go, and Candycrush will be accessible on the new OS. If this is done successfully, and they can bring the price down, it may help lead to mass adoption. Can you imagine Monument Valley in 3D?! I can’t wait!

You can head over to CNN.com to read the entire article, where the reporter was kind enough to give me the last word, “Apple knows that the technology is going to get more compact, sleeker, and eventually they will be able to make a super sexy pair of glasses. I have no doubt,” Peyton said. “It’s going to be maybe two or three years away, maybe more than that, but they’ll get there.”

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XR Pub Crawl My Birthday Edition: Join us LIVE June 23rd at noon PT

This month the XR Pub Crawl will be joined by Web3, metaverse and NFT expert, Olivier Moingeon, founder and COO of Exclusible. This immersive agency has worked with such brands as Vogue, Deloitte, and PWC and most recently launched the successful Hugo Boss quest in Spatial.io promoting their new spring collection. We’ll explore the Hugo Boss world and celebrate my birthday in a 3D space built just for us! Join in the fun live and you may even win your own, exclusive, NFT profile pic. 😍 Zoom link found in our LinkedIn event invite, hope to see you there!

Top Tools of the Month



My latest obsession is Runway Gen-2 – a text to video tool that lets you create videos like the one above in just a few seconds. For this fairy-fest video short, I used the prompt: masterpiece video of group doing a pub crawl in Apple’s AR vision pro goggles in the style of Cicely Mary Barker’s Flower Fairies. It obviously didn’t nail it but it came damn close. The tool uses a freemium model so you can try it out for free and upgrade for as little as $15 USD per month.


Jetpack AI Assistant integrates with any WordPress website or blog. The interface lets you engage with AI as if you were chatting with a colleague. This tool allows you to generate diverse content on command without having to leave the WordPress content management system. I’m sure my students will be using this for their blog assignments. Pricing starts at less than $10 monthly.


Machined completely automates the entire SEO content process by automating keyword research, keyword clustering, and internal linking. The tool then creates high-quality articles that according to their website, ‘resonates with readers’. Marketers can write hundreds or even thousands of articles at the same time. This tool costs $49 per month and an additional $0.50 per article paid directly to ChatGPT.


Beautiful.ai helps you build stunning presentations in minutes. This presentation maker has the designer built-in so you can just add your notes, data, or anything else and the tool does the rest. Pricing starts at $12 bucks per month. https://www.linkedin.com/embeds/publishingEmbed.html?articleId=8219414074179495377&li_theme=light

May’s XR Pub Crawl Experiential Marketing Edition On-Demand

Last month we explored Fidelity Investments Pancake Empire Tower Tycoon Experience in Roblox. Joey Jeter from Buoy Studio answered our questions on the strategy behind the experience, the KPI’s, and provided insider info on the design of this wildly successful game that provides financial education to Tweens. And be warned, the game is highly addictive…and will make you crave pancakes.

XR/AI Marketing News

From Botco.ai marketing industry AI report: https://insights.botco.ai/the-state-of-genai-chatbots-in-marketing-report?utm_campaign=%5BDownload%5D%20The%20State%20of%20GenAI%20Chatbots%20in%20Marketing&utm_source=Botco.ai%20Webpage&utm_medium=link

AI Rise: Most Firms Are Using It For Marketing Despite Inaccuracies

Yes, it’s true, 73% of agencies have admitted to using generative AI tools to create text, images, videos and other marketing content. The most common uses among marketing firms include crafting email and website copy, social media posts, and customer support chatbots. The article cites research done by Botco.ai, which you can find in their latest industry report, State of GenAI for Marketing.

The Inconvenient Truths about Metaverse Interoperability

Another great post from the team at Metaversed highlighting the challenges arising around building a true metaverse, one that allows you to take your avatar and virtual assets from one virtual world to another. Among the challenges was on surprising realization that there is no real demand for this function currently. 

Elizabeth Arden Enters Metaverse with Virtual Store

One of the industries where 3D virtual stores make sense, fashion and beauty brands are embracing the metaverse and providing immersive experiences for their customer base. 

Google Makes Big AI Announcements at I/O 2023: What to Know

Some of the important updates include AI features being added to Google search, new AI writing tools for Gmail, and the ability to create documents, slides, and spreadsheets with AI in Google Workspace apps like Docs, Slides, and Sheets. Once again, I’m sure my students will be using these tools as well. 

MarTech’s Metaverse Marketing Experts to Follow

Extremely honored and humbled to be included on this list from MarTech, with the likes of Nonny de la Peña, PhD and Cathy Hackl. WOW! #CareerHighlight

More XR/AI News:

Apple’s AR glasses are here. Fashion is watching

How Are XR Firms Leveraging Artificial Intelligence? 

The Power of Cross Reality (XR) in Marketing and Advertising

McKinsey says ‘about half’ of its employees are using generative AI

Google tool helps developers create XR experiences

Follow Me on LinkedIn

Before I go, I want to encourage you to follow me on LinkedIn. This XR/AI marketing brief comes out monthly but between issues I share experiential and AI marketing quick hits on my LinkedIn profile. 

Also be sure to reach out with any suggested topics for future XR Pub Crawls. It’s impossible to to cover the entire XR and AI marketing industry on my own. 😎