In this annual Immersive Advertising Benchmarks Report, OmniVirt shares its 360° VR/AR/3D campaign performance analysis.
We combed through all our 2018 ad campaigns to see how immersive ad formats stacked up against flat content, verified against DoubleVerify, IAS, and more.
The results? Performance improvements across every metric including click-through-rate, video completion, and new reporting on engagement.
Pushing the boundaries of brand experiences is critical at a time where the fight for audience attention is fierce as ever (#bannerblindness). As audience engagement and interactions with brands increasingly become more important over impressions, advertisers are looking for ways to guarantee high engagement and interaction.
At OmniVirt, we believe in the power of the immersive ad formats to tell more engaging stories that stick with audiences. We value immersion, interaction, and thinking outside the box, key features of immersive content that are proven to deepen engagement with audiences. These features aren’t just “cool” and “innovative”. They’re proven to work. We have the data to back it up and now we’re sharing it with you.
We hope our insights can help illustrate the power of immersive advertising for better brand storytelling and authentic engagement, with proven performance.
P.S. Get the report in PDF form here.
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Immersive Advertising Formats
We measured performance across 5 immersive ad formats: 360° Display, 360° VPAID, AR, 3D Object, and 3D Photo. For the first four formats, we measured metrics across all our 2018 campaigns, for brands like Turner, Disney, Travel Nevada, and more. For the latter, we measured 2019 performance.
Immersive Advertising Benchmarks
We report on standard digital advertising metrics such as Click through rate, Average Play Time, and Video Completion Rate.
We’ve introduced a new metric called Engagement.
Why? Not Every Impression Is Equal. Brands aren’t buying impressions: they’re buying brand awareness, purchase intent, sales, and more. And to do this, their ads actually have to make an impression.
With immersive ads, users actively engage with content like 360° video, AR, and 3D, which means users actively engage with brands that invest in these formats.
This report will cover the following benchmarks:
Immersive Ads consistently outperform Flat, 2D creatives
The numbers don’t lie. Across all metrics, immersive ads outperform flat 2D ads. We see 300% increase in CTR, 46% increase in VCR, and significant engagement rates.
Mobile is the best place to consume immersive content
We see higher CTRs and engagement rates on mobile vs. desktop. Why? Mobile interaction helps immersive formats come alive. Whether it’s the gyroscope creating a magic window experience in 360°, tilting a phone to illustrate the depth in a 3D photo, or using the phone’s camera to activate an AR experience, mobile is the key to immersion.
It’s about engagement
Impressions don’t cut it anymore. It’s time for brands and agencies to demand more from their banner advertising. In a world cluttered with content, engagement is the true measure of whether a brand has actually impacted its customers. Immersive ads get almost 15% engagement rates (which beats the 0.16% average engagement rate on Facebook…).
3D is making a play
3D Object and 3D Photo Ads are new ad formats that break creative boundaries but also perform. We see 2–3x uplift compared to standard creatives.
Various industry verticals benefit from performance uplifts
We looked at performance metrics across industries and saw the most significant uplifts in the Travel and CPG categories. But more importantly, all industries see uplifts in CTR, not just Travel and CPG. Immersive content is a medium that any industry can use.
Performance by Ad Format
Mobile ads vastly outperform standard, with an average CTR of 1.44%, compared to 0.09%. That’s a staggering 1500% increase in CTR. Yes, 1500%. Not 15%, not 150%, but 1500%. We see performance uplifts across desktop, too. Desktop 360° ads outperform standard ads by 50%.
Why do we see this uplift? 360° content in a display banner, especially on mobile, is highly engaging. Instead of scrolling through flat ads, a user stop and interacts with 360° content. Display ads in this format capture attention by responding to a user’s movement of the mobile device.
We see very high engagement rates with 360° Display, particularly on mobile. 360° content is all about engagement. It inherently beckons an audience to actively explore a content sphere and participate in the content instead of passively watch. Mobile engagement exceeds desktop due to the ability of the gyroscope to provide a more compelling magic window experience.
Average Play Time
While CTR and engagement is higher on mobile, average play time of the clicked- through 360° experience is higher on desktop. Why? We believe mobile content consumption optimizes towards bite-sized, snackable content. Users spend less time consuming long-form content on mobile.
Ad Creative Size
300×250 units outperform other ad creative sizes, partly because most of 300×250 inventory is mobile-based, which we’ve seen entices higher click-through-rates thanks to mobile’s gyroscope ability.
970×250 units perform the best on Desktop and Tablet. In general, wider units perform better according to Google. The size may be a better canvas for 360° content as compared to units with longer heights than widths.
Comparison to Standard and Rich Media
It’s not just outperforming standard display ads. 360° outperforms both rich media and standard media ads, across all industries. We see above 2X uplift in CTR across Auto, Entertainment, CPG, Retail, and Travel.
Engagement Rate (ER)
360° VPAID ads see high engagement rates at 3.83%. This is lower than Display, but still is compelling performance. As audiences wait for their chosen video content to load, brand are providing interactive, entertaining content that audiences engage with.
ER by Video Duration
Shorter creatives get the highest engagement rates (4.89%), which shows that 360° videos should be optimized for shorter, more engaging experiences.
Average Play Time (APT)
Users watch 360° video across video inventory for an average of 11 seconds across various video durations of different creatives.
APT by Video Duration
Interestingly, longer creatives receive higher average play time while shorter creatives get higher engagement. The difference between play time and engagement when it comes to video duration may be due to how active or passive the audience is.
Video Completion Rate
AR banners perform about the same as standard display banners. We think this is due to the initial banner not being in an immersive format. Camera access still needs to be granted to create the aha moment: the banner pre- access can’t accomplish that.
Engagement Rate here is defined as an Allow Rate: the percentage of users that grant camera access to the AR experience. This means that of the users that click the AR banner, 7.52% of those grant camera access. This underscores how important a compelling banner design is to encourage users to click through to the actual AR experience.
Average Time Spent
Users spend on average 22 seconds with an AR experience. This is notably high and also not surprising: AR by design requires interaction by the user, leading to higher average time spent. A user may be virtually trying on a product or taking an augmented selfie picture to send to friends, which requires time and interaction, and thus great engagement with the brand.
3D object ads see an average CTR of 0.03%. Users may focus on playing with the 3D object in the ad vs. clicking through. So while we see significantly high engagement, we see that behavior occurring within the ad unit itself.
Users show affinity to playing with and rotating 3D Objects within ads with a 13.8% engagement rate. The ads are playable and entertaining and encourage engagement.
3D Photos outperform standard display ads. Mobile CTRs for 3D Photo Ads see 134% improvement over standard mobile. Desktop CTRs for 3D Photo Ads see 67% improvement over standard desktop.
Why this performance uplift? It’s simple: 3D Photo Ads jump off the screen. They capture attention because the creative is better (and cooler) than a flat ad.
We see high engagement rates on mobile for 3D Photo Ads, on average 2.42%. No surprise here: seeing an image rendered in 3D is captivating, especially when the 3D effect is activated by moving a phone.
Contact us to get started on your immersive advertising campaign.
Originally published at www.omnivirt.com on March 4, 2019.