- Facebook introduced three interactive ad formats on its News Feed, per a Facebook blog post and materials shared with Mobile Marketer. Playable ads that let people play a miniature video game are now available globally. Poll ads let marketers ask Facebook users questions and drive a response, and an open beta test of AR Ads will begin this fall.
- Apparel brand Vans worked with Facebook's Creative Shop to create a playable ad that drove a 4.4-point lift in ad recall and a 2.4-point gain in favorability, while Uber India's playable ad for a promotional tie-in with the 2019 Cricket World Cup promotion boosted its click-thru rate by 10%. Meanwhile, cable network E! boosted awareness for the reality-TV series "Total Bellas" by 1.6 times with a poll ad that asked people for their opinion about the show's stars, and Warner Bros. boosted mobile installs of its "Game of Thrones" gaming app by 88% with a poll ad.
- WeMakeUp tested virtual lipstick try-ons in the new AR format and saw a 27.6-point lift in purchases, with consumers spending an average of 38 seconds with the ad. Bobbi Brown Cosmetics also tested makeup try-ons and generated three times the click-through rate (CTR) of regular ads and twice as many purchases, while people who saw the AR effect engaged with the ad for an average of 61 seconds.
Facebook’s expansion of its interactive ad strategy aims to help a wider array of brands provide more engaging experiences for users of the social network than ads that show only text, pictures or videos. Consumers have grown more accustomed to visual features on the platform, using GIFs, livestreams, emojis, face filters, digital stickers and its reactions buttons to create posts or to interact with others. The positive results seen by brands across industries demonstrate the efficacy of the new ad formats.
Interactivity is transforming ads from one-way push communications into an ongoing dialog between brands and consumers, per Facebook. The new ads follow Facebook's test of two ad formats that let marketers sell products directly with an in-app checkout feature, and to turn shopping posts on Instagram into ads.
In addition, Facebook this year introduced poll stickers in Instagram Stories and found that they boosted awareness compared with video ads in five out of nine brand studies. The platform's forthcoming open beta of AR ads comes as almost two-thirds (63%) of internet users have tried an AR experience created by a brand, per an eMarketer survey cited by Facebook.
For Facebook, the interactive ads are aimed at keeping pace with the offerings of smaller but occasionally more innovative competitors like Snapchat, the image-messaging app that pioneered features like AR lenses and filters. Parent company Snap said 70% of its users play with AR lenses every day, according to Q1 company metrics shared with Mobile Marketer. The company this week upped the ante in its rivalry with other social media platforms with a feature that lets users create shareable images that appear three-dimensional on a smartphone. Facebook controls about 83% of social ad spending in the U.S., and 31% of mobile ad spending, per eMarketer data cited by Marketing Land.