Meta has announced a new investment in augmented reality (AR) advertising as part of its pitch to advertisers at the IAB’s NewFronts. The company is bringing AR to Reels Ads and Facebook Stories, enabling brands like Sephora and Tiffany & Co. to offer more immersive experiences and AR filters to Meta’s younger Gen Z users. Meta’s move towards AR advertising is aimed at competing with Snap for marketers’ ad dollars, as they look to target the younger demographic. Meta’s AR ads have been shown to drive incremental ad recall with the 18- to 24-year-old demographic 87% of the time, outperforming non-AR-enabled ads.
Sephora and Tiffany & Co. were both able to test AR Reels ads ahead of this launch, with Sephora running an ad that generated an “aura vibe” filter to help users pick the best-fitting fragrance and make a purchase. The company noted that over half of the ad’s audience was Gen Z users. Tiffany & Co. also created an AR ad that let users immerse themselves in their 5th Avenue flagship store, “The Landmark,” and browse the jewelry.
In addition to the expansion of AR advertising, Meta announced features to make Reels Ads more interactive, including a test of a larger “call to action” button with additional advertiser information on Facebook and Instagram Reels ads. The company will also now allow Facebook users to pause a video ad and preview where the link would take them, potentially driving an increase in click-through rates for Reels Ads.
For shopping ads, Reels will introduce new multi-destination product ads, which means that instead of an ad only pointing to a retailer’s website or single product page, users can swipe through multiple product images in a carousel without leaving the Reel they’re watching.
Meta also noted that it is investing in AI to improve ad ranking and eliminate the manual and tedious steps of creating an ad. The company is already seeing success with its portfolio of AI products, including Advantage+ Shopping, which allows advertisers to execute millions of iterations of targeting performance scenarios within milliseconds. Meta’s CEO, Mark Zuckerberg, has also shared that the company’s future plans for AI include chat experiences in WhatsApp and Messenger, visual creation tools for posts in Facebook and Instagram, and ads, and over time video and multi-modal experiences.
Meta’s investments in AR and AI will continue to create better connections with people and drive growth for businesses. With these new updates and enhancements, Meta is providing advertisers with more immersive and interactive ways to connect with its younger Gen Z users, making it a more competitive option for marketers’ ad dollars.