Makers of 'Pokemon Go' Offer Players In-Game Brand Rewards Via AR Ad Format

At the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity on Monday, augmented reality (AR) developer and AR festival partner Niantic launched “Rewarded AR,” a new ad format integrated with mobile mixed-reality games like Pokemon Go.

Rewarded AR ads powered by Niantic’s AR development platform 8th Wall -- which has been used to create WebAR marketing campaigns for companies like Pepsi, Porsche and LEGO -- use the smartphone camera to immerse players with branded content in the physical world around them.

Players are invited to engage with interactive experiences within AR ad units as they move around in the real world, unlocking rewards within the mobile game they are playing. For example, a player looking for Pokemon in a public park might come across a treasure box containing discounts for coffee at a nearby Circle K convenience store.

Niantic says the Circle K Rewarded AR ad campaign resulted in an average engagement rate of 76% and an average completion rate of 95% for the experience.

The company believes this interactive ad format will help brick-and-mortar stores drive stronger brand impact over static banners or video ads alone, as well as foot-traffic and sales.

To help streamline the AR ad development process, Niantic has created partnerships with key development agencies to offer brands a fully managed creative production process.

“As AR goes mainstream, brands and consumers are demonstrating a growing appetite for immersive experiences, and the emerging category of AR advertising,” Niantic said in a recent press release, citing a prediction of 1.7 billion global mobile AR users by 2024.

Last month, Niantic developed a similar immersive shopping experience for Amazon called “Amazon Anywhere,” which enables customers to discover and buy physical products in a variety of mobile apps and games.

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