• Jonathan Lee

Can Augmented Reality Breathe New Life Into Display Ads

Updated: Nov 13, 2019

Over the last few years, banner ads have become less and less effective for advertisers with CTRs as low as 0.05%. There is a huge amount of inventory and they are available at a low cost but they are not an effective way to engage audiences anymore.

We have however, seen huge growth in digital video advertising and according to Statista the global video ad spend figure is expected to grow to US$43,073m by 2023.

Undoubtedly, video is a great way for advertisers to engage with their intended audience, but the next frontier for digital advertising has to be interactive ads that utilise technology like augmented reality.

Imagine that you’re scrolling through a website and you encounter an ad. This ad still gets in your way but it also gives you an option to access an AR experience. You can use your forward-facing camera to see how a product would look placed in your environment. You could see what a new car would look like on your driveway, what a new sofa looks like in your living room or what the new BBQ looks like in your garden. Alternatively, you could use the front facing camera to see what a hat, sunglasses, hair colour or makeup would look like on you.

An AR experience can help to really engage audiences in new and exciting ways. It can give consumers easy access to brands products and services before they buy them, which is a great way to capture attention. As AR becomes more ubiquitous, in-ad AR is going to enable deeper and more meaningful conversations between advertisers and consumers.

Companies like Oath and Blippar have already launched in-ad AR and earlier this year, Facebook announced the launch of three new interactive ad formats, which included augmented reality ads that will run directly in the newsfeed.

Facebook confirmed “People want to be included in your next big idea and are using new innovative ways to do it, In turn, brands and people are becoming more intertwined, and it’s changing digital advertising from a one-way push communication to an ongoing dialogue powered by creativity. To help brands further embrace this trend, we are announcing new ad solutions that encourage a playful experience between people and businesses and deliver results.”

Facebook also confirmed that 63% of internet users they surveyed have tried an AR experience created by a brand and that makeup brand WeMakeUp saw a 27.6 point uplift in purchases coinciding with the rollout of its lipstick try-on AR ad. Bobbi Brown Cosmetics, which tested AR ads for its new Luxe Matte Lip color, claims website purchases doubled as a result of the interactive ads.

Verizon Media also recently added AR features to its native ad formats. Their 'Moments' ad format already provides advertisers with the ability to create interactive ads but the addition of augmented reality is going to make them even more effective.

Verizon Media’s Head of North American Sales and Global Client Solutions, Jeff Lucas, said "By bringing together AR and our premium, relevant, and trusted inventory, we can power a new level of utility for the user and performance for the advertiser. Moments is a great example of that. It helps brands invite users in and meaningfully connect with them in a much deeper way.”

Most people still experience AR for the first time through their mobile device, and often through social platforms such as Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat. The development of AR ads is really exciting as it opens up opportunities for advertisers to engage with audiences creatively, but it also advances AR in general, by exposing more and more people to interactive technology.

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