Advertising is evolving at a frenetic pace, though you might not notice it. Brands, conscious that consumers are switching off from traditional forms of advertising, have had to become more utilitarian – and that means integrating more seamlessly into our everyday lives.
It’s a concept first explored in Invisible Marketing, a recent Stylus trend report, and the past week has borne some intriguing examples. Take the humble banner ad, for instance – a format whose click-through rate has fallen to just 0.05% worldwide. But is it about to be given a new lease of life?
Quite possibly, thanks to augmented reality (AR). British firm Blippar is reimagining the unloved medium with its Augmented Reality Digital Placement tech, which enables advertisers to deliver AR experiences like 360° video from digital ads. Virtual try-ons, reportedly, are to follow.
Display ads away from people’s devices are evolving, too. Coca-Cola recently partnered with Google to serve grocery shoppers real-time, personalised ads on screens at the end of supermarket drinks’ aisles – using their internet browsing data.
If a shopper’s online history reveals an interest in, say, health and fitness, the screens show ads for diet tonic or sparkling water instead of sugary soft drinks. The tech seems to be working; in a 250-store pilot in the US, grocery chain Albertsons delivered a one-month return on investment.
But if brands are to become truly useful, their advertising can’t always have commercial goals. Snapchat, for instance, recently partnered with the Electoral Commission to launch a custom Geofilter encouraging young people to vote.
Featuring a graphic of a pink voting slip and a ballot box, the filter asked users to “Find your voice” before the May 22 voting-registration deadline. It was launched on the back of Electoral Commission research which showed that 30% of Brits aged under 34 aren’t registered – compared with 4% of over 55s.