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AR’s effectiveness as an ad medium remains a question mark. So at this early stage in the technology’s lifespan, ROI data and proof points are like gold. Following the AR advertising case studies we published recently, we continue to see a few positive signs of AR ad efficacy.

Snapchat reports that its Sponsored Lenses average 10 to 15 seconds of playtime, result in a 19 percentage point average lift in ad awareness, 6 point lift in brand awareness and a 3.4 point lift in action intent. It also shows a 9 point lift in product sales that result from AR campaigns.

In a separate Nielsen study, 22 consumer packaged goods (CPG) companies saw an average sales lift of 10 percent from AR lens campaigns. Additionally, the average AR Lens user spends three minutes every day playing with lenses such as selfie masks or outward-facing World Lenses.

Of course, this only covers one flavor of AR advertising (Lenses) over one channel (Snapchat). We’ll continue to see lots of data pour out as Facebook and others look to prove advertiser ROI and get more to adopt. That will be a gradual process, as it often goes with Madison Avenue.

Beyond AR lenses served in a social context, AR’s real value in advertising will develop as more of a utility. For example, visual search will develop from Google and others to use the smartphone camera (millennial-friendly) to contextualize surroundings, products, and nearby businesses.

That will be similar in utility to text-based search today, but it will find new and native use cases for local business or product discovery. The high commercial intent of such use cases will drive up ad premiums — with metrics still to develop. This is why Google is so keen on visual search.

As for display (including AR lenses) versus search (visual search), the majority of ad revenue today is the former. But the latter will grow for the above reasons. It will take longer because the underlying technology is more sophisticated, including geo-spatial data and the AR cloud.

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Disclosure: ARtillry has no financial stake in the companies mentioned in this post, nor received payment for its production. Disclosure and ethics policy can be seen here.

Header image credit: Snap, Inc.