Ericsson Emodo Launches Creative Lab Focused on AR Experiences

by Stephanie Miles

The ad tech giant Ericsson Emodo has announced plans to make a significant investment in the metaverse, launching a first-of-its-kind solution to create targeted AR experiences for advertisers.

With buzz around the metaverse reaching a fever pitch, and industry observers touting the “multitrillion-dollar potential” for early adopters, Emodo is positioning itself as a leader in the space. Emodo Creative Lab will focus on creating targeted AR experiences for advertisers, beginning with Resolution Media and The Broadway League. The lab’s first 5G-powered AR campaign takes mobile users into Times Square through AR and allows users to engage with content from more than a dozen Broadway musicals and plays.

Emodo CEO and General Manager Alistair Goodman says that the campaign promotes the return of Broadway following its 18-month closure during the COVID-19 pandemic. It also shows off the type of ad formats Emodo Creative Lab can put out, using augmented reality (AR), 3D, 360-degree, and immersive audio solutions.

“Emodo has been building and optimizing mobile-first creative with clients since 2018. Over that period of time, we’ve formed a number of impactful collaborations with both media and creative agencies,” Goodman says. “But formalizing that capability into the Emodo Creative Lab was sparked by the intersection of multiple shifts in the market.”

The Third Era

Goodman believes that we are entering what he calls the “third era of creativity.” If the first era of creativity was passive, including broadcast radio, TV, and print, and the second era was interactive, allowing consumers to interact with ads by clicking and tapping, this next immersive era will take engagement one step further. Goodman envisions consumers engaging with brands in entirely new ways, as marketers shift their focus on metrics away from click-through and conversion rates, toward attention and engagement rates, dwell time, and personalization capabilities.

“Immersive advertising, such as AR ads, offers differentiated experiences that both brands and consumers are looking for,” Goodman says.

Demand for AR advertising is already there among consumers. Seventy percent of consumers surveyed in a spring 2021 study by the Emodo Institute said they want more AR ads, and 74% said AR ad experiences create a more favorable view of the brand advertised.

At Emodo Creative Lab, Goodman and his team plan to capitalize on 5G by allowing low-latency bidirectional communication between mobile consumers. Immersive mobile campaigns will have location baked in as well.

“Where someone is, and when they are there, are great predictors of interest and intent. The metaverse will provide more signals around place and time that enable better immersive experiences, tailored to the consumer and their mindset,” Goodman says. “Location has proven to be a strong signal of intent and has enabled us to deliver highly targeted experiences and advertising based on the consumers current mindset. We see the metaverse as the next evolution of this bridge between digital and physical and fully expect that location will continue to play a key role.”

With the metaverse still in its infancy, it may be too early to speculate on what obstacles could limit growth — particularly among brand advertisers. While Goodman says he’s already seen examples of brands leaping into AR, he predicts that UI may be an obstacle, at least in the beginning.

“Will it require hardware initially? We know clunky glasses are just not going to do it — consumers won’t adopt it. It needs to blend the physical and metaverse worlds seamlessly to fit into the way that we ingest content, advertising, and experiences,” he says. “​​The brands that win will be the ones that are comfortable with experimentation, giving up control to consumers, and allowing consumers to change the contexts in which they learn about products and brands. Brands that continue to try to force pre-formulated messages to consumers will lose out.”

Stephanie Miles is a senior editor at Street Fight. A version of this article previously appeared in Street Fight, reproduced here under an editorial partnership.

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