Wednesday 04 August 2021 - 3:35:21 pm

UAE uniquely poised to capitalise on advertising opportunities created by AR

DUBAI, 10th September, 2020 (WAM) -- The adoption of interactive augmented reality, AR, advertising is one of several technology-driven tools accelerated by the COVID-19 pandemic, leading proponents revealed during Dubai Internet City’s Fireside Chat, a digital forum bringing together key industry voices to share knowledge and insight on the rapidly-evolving digital economy.

Vishal Badiani, Creative Strategy Lead for MENA at Snapchat, Benjamin Schwartz, GTB Dubai Digital Business Director, and Mike Khouri, Managing Director of Tactical, attended the session, titled "The Power of Augmented Reality in Advertising in the MENA Region". All three companies operate out of Dubai Internet City, the region's largest technology ecosystem that is home to 1,600 technology businesses and 25,000 people.

With global mobile AR advertising revenue forecast to grow from $1.41 billion in 2020 to $8 billion in 2024, according to ARtillery Intelligence, the three experts showed that advertisers who are investing in AR advertising across MENA are already winning.

Badiani said, "This is not a technology for tomorrow. It is for right now. Especially the ‘now’ we find ourselves in, where customers are evaluating the risk and benefit associated with any and everything that requires physical contact – from the people in your store, to the surfaces, to the product displays and the POS."

Schwartz spoke about the success of GTB Dubai’s major AR-driven campaign for US luxury car company Lincoln, which performed phenomenally well during the UAE’s precautionary measures to combat COVID-19. While it was not designed for the pandemic, the company created a Snapchat AR Lens experience that allowed customers to see the car for themselves in the car, without having to visit the showroom.

The campaign data speaks for itself, Schwartz explained, "The average time spent with an AR Lens experience on Snapchat is around 12 seconds in the region, yet we had over 8.5 million people opt-in and choose to play with our Lincoln AR Lens, on average, for 38 seconds – more than three times the industry standard. The campaign ran for six weeks in three countries, generating more than 100,000 swipe-ups. While it was not built for COVID-19, it became the most valuable asset in our toolkit because people could experience our new nameplate without leaving the safety of their own homes."

Luxury products, such as cars or make-up, represent a unique opportunity for AR advertising, according to Khouri, who developed an innovative try-before-you-buy Snapchat experience for MAC Cosmetics.

"The Snapchat Lens allowed users to try three different makeup looks and it has been viewed over 3.7 million times," he said.

WAM/Tariq alfaham/MOHD AAMIR