Now Is the Time to Adopt Augmented Reality (AR) Ads



Over the past couple of years, Augmented Reality (AR) has become one of digital advertising’s hottest commodities.

It’s easy to see why; the format has given advertisers a completely new way of engaging their audiences, facilitating active participation as opposed to passive viewing. 

With audiences more immersed, AR ads are leading to impressive results at each stage of the marketing funnel.

This is particularly true for Gen Z audiences. AR ads on Meta have been shown to drive incremental ad recall with 18–24-year-olds 87% of the time—outperforming non-AR ads.



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AR is no longer an advertising novelty

You may be surprised to learn that AR advertising isn’t exactly a recent development. MINI created the first AR ad all the way back in 2008. 

Following this, a handful of other large brands jumped on-board; however, AR ads remained relatively uncommon due to the cost and resources involved in creating these experiences.

Proper momentum started to pick up in 2018 when Facebook started to offer AR ads, with other digital platforms subsequently releasing their own AR formats. It’s also at this time when we start seeing lower-funnel use-cases for AR ads. 

In the early days, AR was exclusively used for its novelty factor, helping to achieve top-of-funnel brand outcomes through its novelty. With dedicated formats with added functionality springing up across social platforms, advertisers were given the ability to drive conversions with AR ads. 

There are two popular categories of lower-funnel AR ads that have emerged: virtual try-ons and 3D product models. Both enable audiences to try-out or learn more about a product before purchasing. These categories saw a boom in popularity during the pandemic, with brands turning to AR as a way of replicating aspects of the in-store experience.

As the format proved more and more popular with brands, digital platforms continued to develop and refine their AR ad solutions. With this, AR has established itself as a practical ad format that brands can leverage for both brand awareness and conversion objectives.



What ARe you waiting for? AR ads are more accessible than ever

The other flow-on from all of this development is that access to AR ads has now been opened up to brands of all sizes. 

Most leading digital platforms now offer AR ad formats along with solutions that help facilitate the production of the actual AR filters. There’s Meta Spark, TikTok Branded Effects, and Snapchat Lenses, to name a few. 

These solutions transform what was previously an intimidating process into a smooth and accessible one.

At Shuttlerock, we’re also committed to making the production of AR ads as light a lift as possible. As a creative partner of each of the platforms offering AR ads, we offer a turnkey production solution that enables brands to produce AR ads entirely from existing assets. 

Using assets such as product renters, key visuals, and logos; our expert designers can create a variety of types of AR experiences at varying degrees of complexity—both 2D and 3D.



What makes AR advertising so impactful? 

AR is such an attractive ad format because it cultivates richer engagement from audiences. This enables advertisers to deliver a stronger message, leading to stronger performance. 

With traditional, non-AR ads, audiences take a passive role in the ad experience. This limits the level of attention and engagement audiences give the ad. With AR, on the other hand, the interactive elements lead to audiences playing an active role in the experience. 

This participation has a significant neurological impact. In a 2018 study conducted by Mindshare, it was found that AR experiences resulted in almost double (1.9 times) the level of engagement than non-AR equivalents. In the same study, it was also found that AR delivered 70% higher memory encoding. 

In a more recent study in the International Journal of Advertising found that AR ads proved more effective than traditional ads when it comes to ad perception, brand attitude, and purchase intention. 

These findings suggest that if you’re looking to unlock higher levels of engagement and performance with your ads, AR might be the key you need.



Start your AR advertising journey

If you would like to explore how Shuttlerock can work with your brand to produce impactful and immersive AR ads, please feel free to reach out to a crew member in your region. Also, check out our webinar The AR Effect for a deeper dive into the topics discussed in this article. 

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