Ad-tech firm Exponential Interactive on Monday launched a new video ad unit with Snapchat-like capabilities that enables marketers to overlay images on consumers’ faces. The Face Filter capability, part of Exponential’s video ad offering, aims to offer marketers a deeper level of engagement with consumers.
The Face Filter ad unit uses facial tracking technology to help consumers interact with products. For example, female shoppers can virtually try on makeup via the ad unit.
Consumers who have opted into the experience can activate their webcams to engage the Face Filter. Facial feature, and head tracking technology is applied to the consumer’s face, enabling the advertiser to overlay virtual objects such as glasses, makeup, hats, helmets, and more.
Exponential said the Face Filter is available on display and in-stream advertising and is a complement to mobile augmented reality experiences.
“While online shopping is convenient, it misses the tactile and personal connection that the in-store experience offers,” Ittai Shiu, VP, creative strategy, Exponential, told Real-Time Daily via email. “Augmented reality provides a digital bridge that helps strengthen the connection between screen and store.”
“If used effectively, augmented reality [AR] encourages consumers who are overexposed to ads to lower their guard, spend quality time with a brand, and interact with a brands products,” Shiu explained. “As a supplement to existing marketing initiatives, the added level of intimacy delivered by AR can be measured with traditional marketing metrics.”
For example, marketers can measure brand awareness and favoritism; engagement and time spent; in-ad interaction; and purchase consideration and intent, according to Exponential. The thinking is that consumers will be more attentive and open to receiving brand messages within an AR experience. In addition, AR experiences, especially ones that enable consumers to pick and choose products and try them in a virtual environment, can also generate valuable data that informs advertisers about what customers value, product preferences, and how they wish to continue interacting with brands.