WebAR advertising is coming in hard. It has opened new, much-needed possibilities for advertisers and marketers to interact with their customers, as physical locations have closed and encounters have decreased.
WebAR enables a new form of advertising: people can see the offerings in their environment before purchasing, just with a push of a button. Or click on a screen, to be more precise. Finnish media house Sanoma teamed up with a furniture company Vepsäläinen to test out this new advertising form.
In 2020, the media company Sanoma took part in a project where the three leading media houses in Finland, together with Arilyn, researched WebAR advertising possibilities.
Sanoma, one of the biggest learning and media companies in Finland, teamed up with the furniture company Vepsäläinen to launch a WebAR ad campaign for Vepsäläinen's design sale.
The ad consisted of 3D models of BoConcept's tables and chairs, appearing on the mobile front page of Helsingin Sanomat, the biggest subscription newspaper in Finland. The audience could rotate the models on their device's screen, test how they would look in their own environment, and then click themselves to Vepsäläinen online store. The ad was active for two weeks from the beginning of February 2021.
The ad's final form resulted from a tight collaboration between professionals from the media house Sanoma, furniture company Vepsäläinen, the AR agency Arilyn, and the digital marketing agency Nordic Morning.
AR ad is a straightforward concept that draws attention and offers functionality
Sanoma chose to go forward with this kind of ad due to its straightforwardness and high functionality. The company saw the AR display ad bringing benefits to all target audiences: the advertisers can draw large numbers of new customers, and the end-users get to see how the products fit their life before making the purchasing decision. During the two weeks of being active, the AR ad drew a lot of attention.
Immersive ads are still a novelty and are an excellent tool for branding and standing out from all the other ads.
A glimpse into the future of display ads
Immersive technologies bring some fun into the typical display ads we all see every day. We can play around with the content and place it in our environment. Also, all the steps of the purchasing funnel happen in a single simple flow. We notice something interesting, consider how it will fit our life, make the purchasing decision and take action - all in a few taps on our mobile's screen.
"In the future, we will hopefully see AR used in many creative and innovative ways in display advertising. Tangible products like furniture are the obvious use case. This type of ad can really be helpful to the potential customer. Remarkably, an ad can be of service and help customers make purchase decisions.
What about the advertising of services, organizations, and other more abstract subjects of advertising then? Can an AR ad be used if you're a business that doesn't have that physically easily placeable product to be augmented in real life? Most definitely yes. I believe that's where we will see unpredictable and creative adaptations of the AR display ad. Only time will show us all the ways the AR display ad will be utilized, and we will be watching with great interest."- Sebastian Lindberg, Development Manager, Data & Display at Sanoma.