AR continues to evolve and take shape as an industry. Prominent sectors include industrial AR, social, gaming, and shopping. But existing alongside them is AR marketing. This includes AR lenses that let consumers visualize products on “spaces & faces.”
One subset of AR marketing is paid ad placement to amplify a given AR experience. Spending on such ad placement is estimated to reach $6.7 billion by 2025. This includes money spent on branded AR lenses or product try-ons on networks like Facebook and Snapchat.
As our research arm ARtillery Intelligence examined in a recent report on AR marketing, adoption drivers include brand advertisers’ growing affinity for AR. Its ability to demonstrate products in 3D resonates with their creative sensibilities, transcending common 2D formats.
To continue the narrative and “show rather than tell,” the report features case studies that map to various stages of the consumer purchase funnel. What do AR ads look like today? What’s the concrete ROI? And what are strategic takeaways for campaign execution?
After case studies that focused on the upper and mid-funnel, we now continue to the lower funnel. These campaigns drive quantifiable consumer purchases through AR product visualization. This usually involves AR experiences that are integrated into a shopping flow.
One example of such campaigns comes from NexTech AR Solutions.* The AR commerce firm reports that a recent 3D ad campaign it ran for Miele Vaccum saw a conversion boost of 300 percent over non-AR equivalents. The latter include standard banner ads (more on that in a bit).
The campaign also resulted in 32 percent greater click-through rates (CTR), 23 percent lower cost-per-click (CPC) and an overall cost per acquisition (CPA) that was 74 percent less than non-AR benchmarks. These results indicate not only performance but cost-efficiency and ROI.
More importantly, the campaign validates AR’s ability to measurably boost revenue. This is coupled with its strength (shown elsewhere) as a branding and awareness play. This traces back to our assertion that AR has the ability to span the purchase funnel from impression to action.
Isolate the Variable
As for the campaign itself and the measurement methodology, it involved a $999 premium Miele Vaccum. The banner-ad campaign A/B tested AR ads (test group) versus non-AR banners (control group). This involved 200,000 impressions, split evenly between AR and non-AR.
To isolate key variables and truly see AR’s impact, both sets of ads looked identical in design and ad copy. They were both HTML5 banners in four standard IAB sizes. The only difference was the ability to interact with the AR version of the ad by seeing and spinning it in 3D.
For the AR ad, a slowly rotating product indicated the ability to interact using a cursor (desktop) or touch (mobile). The additional option was available on smartphones to visualize the product in one’s space by activating the camera. This all happened in web AR with no app required.
Interestingly, NexTech acquired the eCommerce site VCM.com where the vacuums are sold. Along with a few other acquisitions, this investment essentially provides an AR proving ground where it can control the full stack and optimize the workings of its 3D/AR ad network.
We’ll pause there and circle back in the next report excerpt with more AR marketing and commerce case studies.
*Disclosure: the owner of this publication owns stock in Nextech AR Solutions. See our full disclosure and ethics policy here.