Google has launched AR beauty ads for lip and eye products. Augmented reality (AR) is viewed by Google as a new, potentially very powerful advertising channel. Today, Google announced the release of AR Beauty advertisements, a new smartphone ad type that allows marketers to promote lip and eye cosmetics (and, soon, foundation) through “virtual try-on” experiences.
Google has launched AR Beauty Ads for Lip and Eye Products
In place of a product image in a conventional Google Shopping ad, AR Beauty ads include a tool that allows users to preview how various products would look on them or a model who “resonates” with them. The tool is accompanied by a product description and pricing information, as well as a streamlined checkout flow aimed to speed up the purchasing process.
The AR Beauty advertisements will appear in the same mobile-specific channels as Google Shopping ads do, such as the Shopping tab on Google.com, Search, and Google Images.
“AR Beauty ads help our beauty brand partners showcase their products in a more interactive way to capture demand,” according to a press release shared with TechCrunch yesterday by Lilian Rincon, Google’s senior director of consumer commerce. “When a new tool is helpful for shoppers, it can be helpful for the entire industry.”
The launch of AR Beauty advertisements, which coincides with Google’s premiere of virtual try-on tools for hair colour and foundation in Search, including a tool that allows users to virtually apply foundation on themselves, underlines the tech and ad industries’ growing conviction in AR as a potent marketing force.
Meta stated in May that it would begin rolling out AR ads to Instagram Reels and Facebook Stories later this year. (In July 2018, Meta tried AR advertisements in the Facebook News Feed for the first time.) Niantic, the creators of Pokémon GO, tested AR ad experiences at the Cannes Lions Festival in early spring. In addition, Snapchat has long provided AR ads via its Lens technology and platform.
AR Beauty advertisements are a follow-up for Google, which brought AR to YouTube display ads in 2019 as part of an experiment with beauty influencers. Viewers may practically try on makeup while following along with YouTube creators to obtain tips and product recommendations, thanks to FameBit, Google’s in-house branded video platform.
According to brands, the rush isn’t just driven by hype.
Shopify data show that AR advertisements frequently outperform display ads, with the average 3D AR ad producing 94% greater conversion rates than its static, 2D counterpart. Meanwhile, Snap and Deloitte discovered that brands that offer AR experiences are 41% more likely to be considered by customers and that nearly three-quarters of shoppers are willing to spend more for a product that can be explored with AR.
According to Google, its 2019 YouTube experiment with VR ads resulted in just under a third of viewers spending more than 80 seconds on average trying on lipstick. Furthermore, the company believes that after using the virtual try-on features on Google Search, customers are “measurably” more likely to spend time on a brand’s website, investigate a product, or make a purchase.
All of these factors may explain why global AR ad revenue is expected to reach $6.68 billion by 2025, up from $1.36 billion in 2020.