By now, most people who regularly use the internet and social media are accustomed to ads. Ads have become a standard part of online life, peppering the middle of our videos and popping up mid-Facebook scroll. Many have mastered the art of ignoring ads or immediately clicking away, forcing the hand of advertisers to find new and better ways of reaching the market.
With the rise of virtual work, artificial intelligence (AI), and talk of the metaverse, people are getting far more comfortable having more interaction with technology. Advertisers can leverage this increased comfort with technology and create interactive ads, leading to greater engagement and lead generation.
What Are Interactive Ads?
Interactive ads maximize user or viewer interaction with augmented reality and gamification. Advertising experts are aware that they need to get creative to hold their target markets’ attention and interest. With advances in technology comes the ability to infuse traditional advertising with the latest in eye-catching interactive content. Think of the splash that Pokemon Go made in 2016. People signed up in droves to get outside and interact with the game in real time. It was something unique and intriguing. Interactive advertising works in much the same way, catching the eye and drawing people in to engage with a brand or product.
According to a study, interactive advertisements get 47% more viewing time than static ones, proving to be a much more beneficial option.
How to Integrate Interactive Ads
Given the positive stats on the effectiveness of interactive advertising, businesses will likely want to consider how to integrate interactive ads into their marketing plan. There are many ways this can be accomplished:
Require an Action Instead of Entry of Personal Information – One reason companies want to run ads or pop-ups is to build their email marketing list. This goal is accomplished by collecting information on users. However, consumers have become wise to that approach and may be reluctant to plug in the requested information.
Marketers can create interactive ads that request a consumer perform an action (clicks a button, for example). The action performed leads the consumer to more information about the company, product, or service. The consumer is now interacting fully with the ad and will be more apt to offer their data. Even if their data is not eventually given, interactive ads can be used to collect geographic or demographic information that can be later used for targeted ads.
Use Playable Ads – There has been a notable rise in the gamification of ads. With gamified ads, consumers receive a reward for their interaction with the ad. The gamification industry is huge and only growing with each passing year. This growth is due to the highly successful outcomes gamification exhibits.
Companies that incorporate real games into their ads or weave a contest into marketing have seen great engagement and investment returns.
Interactive Films – Marketers can lead consumers to a truly unique experience with interactive films. Consumers can choose from multiple pathways and determine the outcome of the film. One example of how this was expertly applied was with Honda’s “Other Side” campaign, which worked much like the old “Choose Your Own Adventure” books. This interactive commercial allowed consumers to choose between two story outcomes by pressing a particular key on their keyboard. Since Honda’s innovative marketing film emerged in 2015, the technology behind this concept has only grown. Marketers are only limited by their imaginations at this point and have the ability to create more evocative ads sure to draw in even the most cynical consumer.
Virtual Reality – Imagine clicking an ad and being able to test drive a car from the comfort of your own home. Imagine opening a door and taking a tour of a home from your desk. Virtual reality technology is advancing by leaps and bounds with each passing year, and marketers are taking note. They have been using VR technology in their interactive ads, and the trend shows no signs of slowing.
Interactive Displays/Billboards – Interactive advertising is not just limited to online or social media use. Many companies have developed interactive advertising meant for billboards or street advertising. One ingenious campaign was by Reebok. To compete with big names like Nike and Adidas, Reebok devised a truly interactive street ad that prompted passers-by to run past the billboard. Those who ran fast enough could score a free pair of sneakers.
The more creative marketers can get with interactive displays, the more successful the campaign will likely become.
The Cost of Innovation
Businesses and marketing professionals may wonder how much this innovation may cost. Crafting such a personalized experience may seem expensive at first, and depending on the size and scope of the campaign, it very well can be. Interactive campaigns can take some time to show their return on investment. However, if brands are willing to be patient, interactive ad campaigns can eventually build massive brand loyalty and recognition.
Passive advertising, both online and in-person, may be losing some of its luster in an increasingly digital world. Companies can set themselves apart from the competition and create genuinely personalized engagement with their target markets by considering and implementing interactive advertising.