Bringing Banner Ads to Life

Ben Lake

by Benjamin Lake

Wed, 05/20/2020 - 15:05

How we combined Google's display ad network and interactive CGI content to achieve increased engagement and search uplift for Ford

Back in late 2017 we were approached by Google to support them with a new initiative they were launching to unlock the power of immersive computing. They wanted a partner who could, through their existing client relationships, help bring to life their vision of using immersion and interactivity as the next step towards real world ads for more effective shopping experiences. With our pioneering relationship with Ford – we were the obvious choice.

Together - Google, Burrows and Ford - set off on the journey to create new ad formats that would drive higher engagement and more value for brands. With investment in their display advertising network it was time to make display ads act more like we as consumers do – we don’t operate in a 2D space so why should our ads? Not only this, the solution needed to be fully scalable. Challenge accepted!

We built a team that combined technical expertise, creative art direction and UX understanding to create compelling and engaging formats in the most agile way. It was also important that we asked ourselves some important questions to keep us on track – Who is the target audience? Who will be using the ad shell and what do they expect from it? What are the goals – exploration, customisation, information gathering, influencing the purchase decision. By understanding the user and the content they wanted, we were able to design interactions that would intuitively allow them to enjoy their experience more, whilst also producing a technical solution that kept poly counts to a minimum.

Extending out from the initial Beta trial with Google, showcasing the ability to produce a complex product in a low poly 3D model that successful sits within ad shells, Ford challenged us to extend the creative look and feel with the inclusion of icon art, striking background imagery and the inclusion of hot spots whilst keeping within the maximum Google Poly Spec – no easy feat, but that’s exactly what we did.

Using the existing PDM data for Edge ST and Ranger Lariat we optimised the 3D model to meet the maximum specifications laid out before us, whilst maintaining the best possible visual fidelity. Take a look for yourself.

Understanding the effects of any project is key, and some highlights from this include:

  • 2.12% Engagement Rate vs a standard banner ad benchmark of 0.05%.
  • 71% of consumers interacted with the banners for over 1 second vs a benchmark from pilot campaigns of 58%.
  • 41% of consumers interacted for 1 to 3 seconds
  • 17% of consumers interacted for 3 to 5 seconds
  • 13% of consumers were so engrossed they interacted for over 5 seconds!
  • Ford searches increased by 6.8% during the campaign period vs an average uplift of 3%, and there was a whopping 61.1% increase in "Ecosport" searches during that same period.