The Power of AR-Powered Ads in an AR-Powered Game!

Published: June 22, 2023

min read

Niantic, an augmented reality (AR) gaming company, has unveiled a new in-game ads product called Rewarded AR. Through this, players can engage with branded AR experiences that will un-lock in-game rewards. This is powered by Niantic’s AR development platform, 8th Wall.

For example, they first catch some virtual coffee beans in front of a real green field in a mini-game. A little later, the ad asks the players if they would like to stop by the real coffee shop around the corner. And that is how the ad format merges with the real world very effectively.

Audiences can engage with Rewarded AR ads to have immersive and enjoyable brand experiences, discover new products, or engage with interactive features.

Erin Schaefer,

vice president of sales and global operations

These AR visualizations use immersive product storytelling and is aimed at supporting the customer’s purchase decisions. Pokémon Go has these AR ads on its map and it unlocks various rewards in the game. The whole experience completely revolutionizes how the various players engage with the Pokémon Go universe. The experience is unique and immersive and presents players with several rewards. Niantic’s commitment to enhancing user engagement promises to take playing games here to a different level.

Niantic has been showcasing its "Rewarded AR" applications at the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity. In order to ensure that the development and implementation of these AR ads are done effectively and efficiently, the company has already partnered with several key agencies.

Early experiences have been promising - the Circle K campaign had the players play with an oversized virtual paper cup first and then were asked to get a real one at the café – almost like a scavenger hunt.

The Rewarded AR ad campaign resulted in an average engagement rate of 76 percent and an average completion rate of 95 percent for the experience,


Niantic has also partnered with development agencies to offer brands a fully-managed creative production process. According to Statista there will be 1.7 billion global mobile AR users by 2024.

The Power of AR-powered Ads

The new Rewarded AR ad format is a smart move.

AR is already gaining a lot of attention and marketers and brands see it as a great platform to capture customer attention and then drive sales at physical locations. A true phy-gital experience, which has amazing results!

Pokemon Go is all about little creatures that need to be captured using a real map and tracking them down at various actual physical locations. It is a hugely popular game that uses AR and which burst on the scene long before Web3 or AI.

It had everyone hooked. It is a virtual / physical treasure hunt and had everyone carrying their mobile phones and trying to track down the various digital AR creatures. An AR powered ad in such a game will feel like an automatic extension of the game almost, and will make it almost natural for them from jump from one thing to another.

And when the ads are executed well – with sharp strategy and creativity, they will get a lot of engagement and traction – which will lead to a higher rate of conversions and revenues. The AR Ads will beautifully blend the elements of the real world with the Pokemon space, and create a great spirit of adventure – so the whole experience will be highly rewarding and engaging. And there are in-game rewards as well – not just directing them to physical spaces for them to get something. The two kinds of rewards will have a great impact on the players.

Knowing how important personalization is, the rewarded AR formats will be tailored to suit individual preferences – based on the data from the game and other behavior. What this means is that each player will get only relevant and highly engaging content making their game experience unique and the rate of conversion, higher.

Bringing AR powered ads to an AR powered game is but a natural extension – and since the twain are connected in essence, the outcome will be very rewarding and great!


Bill Walker

Bill is a marketing strategist who believes in the power of storytelling. He's known for his creativity, wit, and ability to connect with audiences across all channels. When he's not crafting marketing campaigns, you can find him hiking in the mountains or reading a good book.


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