Is Advertising Ready For The Metaverse?

7
at
7
minutes
Technical Level
August 2, 2022
Ari Belliu
Marketing Communications Specialist
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In this video, I’ll cover some of the more prominent AR/VR initiatives and future possibilities in advertising, the potential of a metaverse connected world, and how programmatic ads will fit into our current view of the metaverse.

Meta is hosting Post Malone’s concert in VR exclusively on Facebook and Instagram. HBO is promoting House of Dragons using an AR app and installation at Comic-con. Does this mean we’re going to see more AR/VR ads? Keep watching and let’s find out.

Hi folks, it’s Ari from Sharethrough here with a brand new episode of Behind Programmatic Headlines. In this video, I’ll cover some of the more prominent AR/VR initiatives and future possibilities in advertising, and how these will fit into our current view of the metaverse.

Brands Experimenting With AR/VR

Post Malone teamed up with Meta for his upcoming Twelve Carat Toothache VR concert, streaming exclusively on Facebook and Instagram. But he’s not the first musician to perform a VR concert. Ariana Grande and Travis Scott beat Post Malone to it, when they had their own virtual concerts within Fortnite.

HBO is promoting the next Game of Thrones series, House of Dragons, using an AR app and an installation at San Diego Comic-con. Not to mention Coca-Cola, Wendy’s, Vans, Ralph Lauren and several other prominent brands testing out AR/VR and advertising in the metaverse. 

But first…

What’s AR/VR & the Metaverse?

Augmented Reality (AR) is when digital components are placed in the physical components using a device like your phone or glasses. Like when your GPS shows you where to go, imagine that direction line on top of the sidewalk or street you’re on. Virtual reality (VR) is an entirely digital environment that exists on its own. When AR and VR environments act like one cohesive experience, it creates an Extended Reality (XR.) 

The metaverse is kind of like a real-life game world. Users will have their own avatars they can customize with branded virtual goods. They can purchase virtual or real, services, access virtual or augmented experiences, explore the metaverse by walking their avatar around, entering virtual storefronts that act like a company’s website and interact with others by going to virtual movie theatres, theme parks, and pretty much anything they can do in real life. If not more, as technology and our capabilities improve. Sure it’s all exciting, but is it just science fiction?

Is AR/VR & the Metaverse Just Wishful Thinking?

There’s lots of skepticism and hype surrounding AR/VR and the metaverse, but the brands that are experimenting are seeing results! When American Eagle partnered with Snapchat for an AR campaign that allowed users to turn their rooms into an American eagle store where they could browse through products and even try them on. The campaign earned them around 2 million in sales, but more importantly, 50 million impressions from Gen Z. 

Travis Scott’s Fortnite concert earned him $20 Million in merchandise sales, or 40% of his tour earnings and 10x more than his next best show. In literally less than 10 minutes! I wonder how much he’s made since through Fortnite skins? Those can be pricey for what’s essentially a digital cosmetic.

Those saying it’s all just publicity stunts, what’s wrong with that? Even if it’s PR for the brands, the exposure is great for brands. And when AR/VR and the metaverse is part of our everyday lives, their current experience is surely going to give them an upper hand.

What’s in Store for the Future of AR/VR & the Metaverse?

This is where it gets exciting. The possibilities are truly endless. 

Virtual Stores/Digital Twins

Brands can create virtual stores or digital twins of their physical locations, and it can all come together in a virtual shopping mall. 

AR Product Tags

Imagine walking down the street and seeing someone wearing a cool shirt. You want one too, but you don’t know where to get it. Well, simply by looking at the shirt through your AR glasses, you could see the brand and where to get it.

Virtual & Augmented Experiences

Virtual and augmented experiences are also a possibility. Imagine an AR scavenger hunt or VR obstacle course.

AR/VR Branded Assistants

AR/VR branded assistants or chatbots that’s almost human-like and you can interact with like any other person. 

New Ad Formats

All new kinds of ad formats like AR ontop of a billboard or immersive VR experiences for storytelling.

How Will Programmatic Ads Work in the Metaverse?

Aside from the new formats and possibilities, programmatic ads will work fairly the same. 

  • Ads in AR overlay
  • Loading screen ads
  • Virtual billboards
  • Movie pre-roll ads
  • Branded in-game items

There’s going to be a greater focus on creating premium and valuable experiences for consumers. Whether it’s AR/VR try-on, concerts, product demos, advertisers will have to get creative with how they interact with consumers.

How Will Ad Performance Be Measured in AR/VR & the Metaverse?

Along with some of the more traditional KPIs that advertisers use to measure performance now like:

  • CTR
  • Impressions
  • Video Completion Rates
  • Reach

Advertisers will have a literal new world of performance signals that can give them deep insights into user engagement:

  • Did people try out the product or ad? 
  • Are people zooming in to parts of an ad, and which parts? 
  • Are people changing the colors or design of the ad? 
  • How many views, clicks, or purchases were from an AR product tag?

And as advertisers become more familiar with advertising in AR/VR and the metaverse and create brand new formats and experiences, they’re going to uncover even more performance signals we can only dream of now. 

How Will Creators & Influencers Fit in AR/VR & the Metaverse?

Similar to how creators and influences engage with their audiences today, they might have a larger role in the future of AR/VR advertising. On PlayStation, the Dreams app allows creators to make their own experiences for consumers. like Southpaw Cooking, a cooking simulator using only your left hand. Advertisers can partner with creators and influencers to create branded experiences, like including food and cooking brands in the cooking simulator, or programmatic banners next to the track in a racing game.

When Will AR/VR & the Metaverse be Widely Adopted?

Before we get all excited, there’s some things advertisers need to figure out first. For the metaverse to happen, advertisers will have to agree on common industry standards that allow interoperability between AR/VR and all parts within the metaverse. Users need to be able to instantly and seamlessly access all parts of the real world around them irregardless of which AR glasses they use. Consumers need to be able to switch between AR/VR on command, hopefully without needing another headset but I have faith that we’ll get there. The devices themselves will have to become indistinguishable from regular glasses, comfortable to wear and have enough battery to last a full day. 

Are we close to having this kind of new reality? Advertising itself will have to become more in tune with the user experience, as AR/VR become extensions of our bodies and realities, users can’t be bombarded with invasive and intrusive ads.

Closing Remarks

Well that’s all for this episode. What will it take for AR/VR advertising to reach mass consumers? What will a metaverse connected world look like? And how will programmatic ads fit in that equation? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below! And don’t forget to like, subscribe and click that little bell for more Behind Programmatic Headlines. This has been Ari at Sharethrough, thanks for watching!

Check out some of our research on VR/AR and the Metaverse:

Understanding the VR/AR Landscape & Its Major Players — Sharethrough

In A World Where AR/VR Is Widely Adopted By The Population, What Will Advertising Look Like?

Sources:

Meta Quest to Debut Post Malone's Twelve Carat Toothache - Adweek

House of the Dragon's AR App Makes You the Mother of Dragons

Meta’s VR roadmap reportedly plans four new headsets for release through 2024 - The Verge

Coca-Cola® Creations Gaming-Inspired Coca-Cola® Zero Sugar Byte - News & Articles

Wendy’s Metaverse Kingdom Grows With ‘Sunrise City’ | The Drum

Vans Launches “Vans World” Skatepark Experience in the Roblox Metaverse

Fashion And The Metaverse: Why Ralph Lauren Wants To Sell You Digital Clothing

Why American Eagle is looking to be an early adopter in metaverse-based marketing and sales

Ariana Grande’s Fortnite tour was a moment years in the making - The Verge

Travis Scott Reportedly Grossed $20M for Fortnite Concert – ARCHIVE - The Esports Observer

How Hip-Hop Superstar Travis Scott Has Become Corporate America’s Brand Whisperer

Want to learn more about Sharethrough?

Sharethrough — Human-Centric Programmatic Advertising

Sharethrough Blog

Enhanced Inventory Packages & PMPs

Follow us on LinkedIn: Sharethrough | LinkedIn

About Behind Headlines: 180 Seconds in Ad Tech—

Behind Headlines: 180 Seconds in Ad Tech is a short 3-minute podcast exploring the news in the digital advertising industry. Ad tech is a fast-growing industry with many updates happening daily. As it can be hard for most to keep up with the latest news, the Sharethrough team wanted to create an audio series compiling notable mentions each week.

In this video, I’ll cover some of the more prominent AR/VR initiatives and future possibilities in advertising, the potential of a metaverse connected world, and how programmatic ads will fit into our current view of the metaverse.

Meta is hosting Post Malone’s concert in VR exclusively on Facebook and Instagram. HBO is promoting House of Dragons using an AR app and installation at Comic-con. Does this mean we’re going to see more AR/VR ads? Keep watching and let’s find out.

Hi folks, it’s Ari from Sharethrough here with a brand new episode of Behind Programmatic Headlines. In this video, I’ll cover some of the more prominent AR/VR initiatives and future possibilities in advertising, and how these will fit into our current view of the metaverse.

Brands Experimenting With AR/VR

Post Malone teamed up with Meta for his upcoming Twelve Carat Toothache VR concert, streaming exclusively on Facebook and Instagram. But he’s not the first musician to perform a VR concert. Ariana Grande and Travis Scott beat Post Malone to it, when they had their own virtual concerts within Fortnite.

HBO is promoting the next Game of Thrones series, House of Dragons, using an AR app and an installation at San Diego Comic-con. Not to mention Coca-Cola, Wendy’s, Vans, Ralph Lauren and several other prominent brands testing out AR/VR and advertising in the metaverse. 

But first…

What’s AR/VR & the Metaverse?

Augmented Reality (AR) is when digital components are placed in the physical components using a device like your phone or glasses. Like when your GPS shows you where to go, imagine that direction line on top of the sidewalk or street you’re on. Virtual reality (VR) is an entirely digital environment that exists on its own. When AR and VR environments act like one cohesive experience, it creates an Extended Reality (XR.) 

The metaverse is kind of like a real-life game world. Users will have their own avatars they can customize with branded virtual goods. They can purchase virtual or real, services, access virtual or augmented experiences, explore the metaverse by walking their avatar around, entering virtual storefronts that act like a company’s website and interact with others by going to virtual movie theatres, theme parks, and pretty much anything they can do in real life. If not more, as technology and our capabilities improve. Sure it’s all exciting, but is it just science fiction?

Is AR/VR & the Metaverse Just Wishful Thinking?

There’s lots of skepticism and hype surrounding AR/VR and the metaverse, but the brands that are experimenting are seeing results! When American Eagle partnered with Snapchat for an AR campaign that allowed users to turn their rooms into an American eagle store where they could browse through products and even try them on. The campaign earned them around 2 million in sales, but more importantly, 50 million impressions from Gen Z. 

Travis Scott’s Fortnite concert earned him $20 Million in merchandise sales, or 40% of his tour earnings and 10x more than his next best show. In literally less than 10 minutes! I wonder how much he’s made since through Fortnite skins? Those can be pricey for what’s essentially a digital cosmetic.

Those saying it’s all just publicity stunts, what’s wrong with that? Even if it’s PR for the brands, the exposure is great for brands. And when AR/VR and the metaverse is part of our everyday lives, their current experience is surely going to give them an upper hand.

What’s in Store for the Future of AR/VR & the Metaverse?

This is where it gets exciting. The possibilities are truly endless. 

Virtual Stores/Digital Twins

Brands can create virtual stores or digital twins of their physical locations, and it can all come together in a virtual shopping mall. 

AR Product Tags

Imagine walking down the street and seeing someone wearing a cool shirt. You want one too, but you don’t know where to get it. Well, simply by looking at the shirt through your AR glasses, you could see the brand and where to get it.

Virtual & Augmented Experiences

Virtual and augmented experiences are also a possibility. Imagine an AR scavenger hunt or VR obstacle course.

AR/VR Branded Assistants

AR/VR branded assistants or chatbots that’s almost human-like and you can interact with like any other person. 

New Ad Formats

All new kinds of ad formats like AR ontop of a billboard or immersive VR experiences for storytelling.

How Will Programmatic Ads Work in the Metaverse?

Aside from the new formats and possibilities, programmatic ads will work fairly the same. 

  • Ads in AR overlay
  • Loading screen ads
  • Virtual billboards
  • Movie pre-roll ads
  • Branded in-game items

There’s going to be a greater focus on creating premium and valuable experiences for consumers. Whether it’s AR/VR try-on, concerts, product demos, advertisers will have to get creative with how they interact with consumers.

How Will Ad Performance Be Measured in AR/VR & the Metaverse?

Along with some of the more traditional KPIs that advertisers use to measure performance now like:

  • CTR
  • Impressions
  • Video Completion Rates
  • Reach

Advertisers will have a literal new world of performance signals that can give them deep insights into user engagement:

  • Did people try out the product or ad? 
  • Are people zooming in to parts of an ad, and which parts? 
  • Are people changing the colors or design of the ad? 
  • How many views, clicks, or purchases were from an AR product tag?

And as advertisers become more familiar with advertising in AR/VR and the metaverse and create brand new formats and experiences, they’re going to uncover even more performance signals we can only dream of now. 

How Will Creators & Influencers Fit in AR/VR & the Metaverse?

Similar to how creators and influences engage with their audiences today, they might have a larger role in the future of AR/VR advertising. On PlayStation, the Dreams app allows creators to make their own experiences for consumers. like Southpaw Cooking, a cooking simulator using only your left hand. Advertisers can partner with creators and influencers to create branded experiences, like including food and cooking brands in the cooking simulator, or programmatic banners next to the track in a racing game.

When Will AR/VR & the Metaverse be Widely Adopted?

Before we get all excited, there’s some things advertisers need to figure out first. For the metaverse to happen, advertisers will have to agree on common industry standards that allow interoperability between AR/VR and all parts within the metaverse. Users need to be able to instantly and seamlessly access all parts of the real world around them irregardless of which AR glasses they use. Consumers need to be able to switch between AR/VR on command, hopefully without needing another headset but I have faith that we’ll get there. The devices themselves will have to become indistinguishable from regular glasses, comfortable to wear and have enough battery to last a full day. 

Are we close to having this kind of new reality? Advertising itself will have to become more in tune with the user experience, as AR/VR become extensions of our bodies and realities, users can’t be bombarded with invasive and intrusive ads.

Closing Remarks

Well that’s all for this episode. What will it take for AR/VR advertising to reach mass consumers? What will a metaverse connected world look like? And how will programmatic ads fit in that equation? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below! And don’t forget to like, subscribe and click that little bell for more Behind Programmatic Headlines. This has been Ari at Sharethrough, thanks for watching!

Check out some of our research on VR/AR and the Metaverse:

Understanding the VR/AR Landscape & Its Major Players — Sharethrough

In A World Where AR/VR Is Widely Adopted By The Population, What Will Advertising Look Like?

Sources:

Meta Quest to Debut Post Malone's Twelve Carat Toothache - Adweek

House of the Dragon's AR App Makes You the Mother of Dragons

Meta’s VR roadmap reportedly plans four new headsets for release through 2024 - The Verge

Coca-Cola® Creations Gaming-Inspired Coca-Cola® Zero Sugar Byte - News & Articles

Wendy’s Metaverse Kingdom Grows With ‘Sunrise City’ | The Drum

Vans Launches “Vans World” Skatepark Experience in the Roblox Metaverse

Fashion And The Metaverse: Why Ralph Lauren Wants To Sell You Digital Clothing

Why American Eagle is looking to be an early adopter in metaverse-based marketing and sales

Ariana Grande’s Fortnite tour was a moment years in the making - The Verge

Travis Scott Reportedly Grossed $20M for Fortnite Concert – ARCHIVE - The Esports Observer

How Hip-Hop Superstar Travis Scott Has Become Corporate America’s Brand Whisperer

Want to learn more about Sharethrough?

Sharethrough — Human-Centric Programmatic Advertising

Sharethrough Blog

Enhanced Inventory Packages & PMPs

Follow us on LinkedIn: Sharethrough | LinkedIn

About Calibrate—

Founded in 2015, Calibrate is a yearly conference for new engineering managers hosted by seasoned engineering managers. The experience level of the speakers ranges from newcomers all the way through senior engineering leaders with over twenty years of experience in the field. Each speaker is greatly concerned about the craft of engineering management. Organized and hosted by Sharethrough, it was conducted yearly in September, from 2015-2019 in San Francisco, California.

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Ari Belliu
Marketing Communications Specialist

About the Author

Ari is an experienced digital marketer with a demonstrated history of multi-tasking and working in health and tech on small teams. He's skilled in copywriting, community building, email and social media marketing, and building brand awareness.

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