Creating An Interactive Experience

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Mobile usage has been rising and advertisers face new challenges in every year. Today the challenge lies with the attention span of viewers that get shorter every day and figuring how to do more with less. Creativity is in demand again as the preferred choice, and with today’s available technologies and faster smartphones, a new age of immersive advertising dawns on us. The old standard banner is now replaced by 360-degree videos or virtual reality, to provide users with an experience that engages them beyond site visits and app downloads. Results from digital transformation exercises show that interactivity will only gain more traction. Interactive ads are to be a way in which businesses spend valuable time with consumers. On a test conducted with interactive ads of major brands, it was seen that brands love using them, while people love interacting with their screens. So interactive ads are seen to be the future, with lots work yet to be done on new ad formats and strategies. Some real-world campaigns with interactive ad formats include Facebook Canvas Ads, Google Lightbox, and the Snapchat 3D World. With these developments, a world of creative opportunities for display ads has opened up.

Most recent demo ads using these technologies include a children’s stationery business advertising immersively and inviting users to color and bring cartoons to life on a smartphone. These colored cartoons then showed up on the welcome video. The ad garnered 200,000 engagements, with over 50% video completes and click-throughs. Brands are challenging themselves to do things differently. Using the same coloring dimension for interactive advertising, a European F&B major increased their public perception as being an environmentally friendly company by pledging to plant a million trees in 5 years. A local storybook character was used to promote the pledge and users could select colors and share their finished product on social media. Another fashion operator promoted pages of his lookbook where users could flip pages by just tilting the phone. Here’s how you can get on the interactive bandwagon.


360 Video– Mobile is where consumer activity is really vigorous and marketers should be focussing on mobile video while sharing it with rich media ads. 360 videos have been used by vehicle manufacturers and showrooms to let users experience the inside of a new model. Some select airline flyers were also given a 360 experience into locations they were interested in and other local activities. These units have a VR mode for viewing and also work on the web. Users have the advantage of 360-degree navigation in a virtual environment that includes 3-D computer-generated graphics and CTA’s. Interactive hotspots are provided to explore different parts of the environment.

Augmented Reality is Here– Research has shown that advertisers get a higher impact on combining video and rich media formats. These are expected to be on their way to becoming mainstream soon. Some test customers are happy to adapt photos and videos with AR on social media, with Facebook and Snapchat prodding them. Between AR and VR, the former leads the race as it does not require a headset. Another reason is Snapchat, which is running regular AR campaigns on its platform. Others like Google and Apple too are providing developers tools to create AR experiences easily with the ARCore and ARKit respectively. As brands look to advertise via AR on sites like Facebook and Snapchat, marketers should be ready for this on mobile. The industry is now beginning to figure out the best use cases and measurement. For instance, camera events data — in the ad for Ray-Ban, you can see which models got tried on most, which ones were for the longest, and how users engaged.

Virtual Reality is Blooming– Since VR is still in its infancy, most are still far away from advertising on it. Although there exists a great ad for a Japanese vehicle manufacturer. The latest ads involve people stepping into a cube covered by screens all sides, for true 360 degrees VR.

Personalization– The best way to engage people is to treat them as unique and highly relevant beings. This is because advertising has always been about awareness, and while the number of channels has increased, good quality messaging is always important. Today marketers have to take a different approach, using personalized ads across the web, social networks, in-app, email and outdoor, to drive engagement.

Interactive Ads– The latest is 4D advertising, where ads are layered on top of video content and consist of interactive journeys, which take the user through multiple scenarios within the ad. As users make their choices, the ads change answering specific questions. This audience response is turned back to advertisers to help them understand their prospects and customers Although some brands worry about the investment needed to create these next-gen interactive ads, we say that you can make effective interactive ads with the existing assets. 

Time and attention of the consumer are at stake. Can interactivity turn a short video into a longer experience? Yes, it can, with interactive ads meaning more time with consumers and better insights for advertisers and manufacturers.

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