Leading mobile monetization and marketing company ironSource today announced the launch of the world’s first AR ads for games. In development while ARKit was still in beta, these ads will now be available on hundreds of millions of smartphones worldwide, after Apple’s release of ARKit, and Google’s launch of ARCore bring AR capabilities to the mainstream. The ads are designed and produced entirely in-house by ironSource’s Playworks Studio, a division in the company wholly dedicated to using game design and performance expertise to innovate around ad creatives.
“For mobile AAA games which are often 3D and filled with special effects, AR ads finally offer a format that can evoke the true nature and experience of the game in an ad experience. Couple that with the large scale supply enabled by our direct relationships with thousands of game publishers using our ad network, and the potential opportunity for massive game advertisers is huge,” said Dan Greenberg, Chief Design Officer at ironSource. “Ultimately, amazing creative experiences are not enough to guarantee campaign results. You need to be able to access large volumes of relevant users, and to live close enough to the data to iterate and optimize. As the first ad network offering AR ads, that’s something we’re able to offer mobile AAA games looking to grow their market share by leveraging this new format.”
ironSource’s mobile video SDK is one of the largest in the industry, with over 80K integrations. This gives ironSource access to a huge amount of in-game supply in which to run AR ads directly to today’s most engaged gamers.
The AR ads use 3D assets from the original game, and can run on both iOS and Android in-app traffic, within rewarded, video, and display placements. ironSource AR ads superimpose in-game characters and scenarios from the advertised game onto the user’s real-world environment. Users will be able to vanquish monsters, earn points, or step into the virtual world of the game, before being prompted to install the app to continue playing.
“While we’ve seen AR applied in an advertising context with features like lenses, this is the first time it will be used to market games. Yet games are in many ways the perfect application for AR advertising, given that a lot of the ways people interact with AR experiences actually mimic gameplay interaction,” continued Greenberg. “The fact that we’ve been working with some of the largest gaming companies for so many years means we have a deep understanding of gameplay and how to translate it into a more compact and condensed ad experience. We’ve presented this new technology to our top partners while in beta and the reactions were uniformly positive. Our first campaign is already scheduled for November once user adoption of iOS 11 has increased.