oogle, the largest ad platform in the world, can now feature immersive content. In the summer of 2019, Google released a new 3D ad setup named Swirl. Swirl integrated programmatic advertising with the next generation of content. Previously, Swirl was exclusive to the Google team, however as of the 9th July 2020 it has been released to all brands, making it available to advertisers.

As Swirl has been extended to all advertisers, banner ads will feature 3D models and animations that are both dynamic and interactive. They will also incorporate new mediums such as AR and VR which will pilot a dramatic new wave of advertising with the use of AR cloud-based persistent placements and Metaverse, such as creating virtual worlds with digital real estate and billboards.

Although traditional banner advertisements will not disappear, they will need to adapt and evolve to include the AR and 3D space, and Swirl is the first step in the process.

google swirl ar

So how does it work? When a user is viewing the page and scrolls down, the Swirl uses a parallax effect to dynamically move the content. This is not the first time that a parallax has been used to enrich media before, but when it is combined with 3D models and animation, it is showcased in its finest version.

From there, the user is able to interact with the content, by moving, zooming and swirling. They can also inspect the product with their mouse or finger, right inside the banner ad. To get a true level of immersion with content must be made in 3D. The purpose of creating immersive ads is so the user isn’t just a passive receiver of the advertisement but an active participant.

3D Increases Engagement, Awareness, and Purchase Intent
For months now, Google have been beta testing their Swirl platform and the results have been astounding.

An example used with Nissan, who showcased their Pro Pilot technologies, received an 8 times higher engagement rate than rich media benchmarks, an 5.8 point increase in brand awareness, and an 8.7 point increase in purchase intent. Even more impressive than that, this specific content had the same dimensions of a standard display ad unit, 300×250.

This July, Google made the platform accessible to all advertisers to use the new Swirl templates in Google Web Designer.

google swirl ar

Analysts and marketers may argue that the comparisons of interactive advertisements compared to standard display advertising isn’t an apples-to-apples comparison, however, Swirl has not been given any extra digital real estate or takeover functionality, it’s competing in the same ring as standard digital ad inventory, and it’s winning.

It’s easy to imagine how this form of advertisements coils translate to other marketing verticals, for example, trigger your appetite by viewing a pizza, then order it straight through the app, check out your dream home’s interior and exterior or see a detailed design for a t-shirt, then click to buy. The opportunities are endless.

Brands who want to be innovative and showcase their products, and create an immersive experience for their consumers, will migrate to this new medium. However, creating an immersive advertisement requires a new level of creativity and talent, one that goes beyond the confines of a standard 2D image and integrates dynamism and depth.

The Swirl technology is offered in classic banner ad sizes: 300×250, 300×600, and 336×280. It can also be bought programmatically through DV360, Google’s self-service ad platform.

Because of this, brands are able to utilise their existing advertising budget to quickly create the next generation of immersive content, and be some of the first innovators to utilise this platform. It doesn’t require a new ad strategy, so the uptake can be quick. Users can also access a full screen mode if they want to play around with it and traditional Calls-to-Action buttons let the user access the website or social media platforms.

google swirl advertising

On the other hand, although it won’t require a completely new ad strategy, it will require some tactical thinking. Working out how to effectively utilise the platform, and create the content that brings about that 8X user engagement will be imperative to getting the most from this platform along with working out how AR and 3D models will bring your product to life and engage a user.

Instagram and Snapchat have already created platforms for incredibly innovative and successful AR campaigns and now Google have extended their Swirl platform to all. These are just the first steps into a far more immersive ecosystem of advertising.

Jul 15, 2020
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