IAB and MRC Join Forces to Develop AR Advertising Guidelines

The global augmented reality market is expected to reach $289 billion by 2030, according to a recent study by Research and Markets, and advertisers have taken notice. While the majority of revenue is generated by software, then hardware, the augmented reality advertising market is projected to generate $1.2 billion in revenue in the U.S. in 2024, according to the Interactive Advertising Bureau. To help foster growth in that nascent sector, the IAB has teamed with the Media Ratings Council to create consistent definitions and measurement guidelines for ads within AR campaigns.

To address “challenges such as fragmented data interpretation, inaccurate performance assessment and limited cross-platform measurement,” the two groups have released their first crack at AR Measurement Guidelines, available for public comment through March 9.

“The guidelines take account of both interactive and immersive AR formats, recognizing that users can engage in both virtual and physical interactions with products,” according to MarTech, which says these guidelines don’t cover advertising within virtual reality experiences.

“Brands are increasingly utilizing AR in their media campaigns to connect with consumers in more meaningful and immersive ways,” IAB Experience Center VP Zoe Soon said in an announcement about the new initiative. “As an industry, we need to establish a greater consistency on how we define and measure AR advertising to foster fairness and transparency for buyers and sellers.”

While “North America leads AR adoption, fueled by industry giants Microsoft, Google, and Meta,” according to Research and Markets, the AR ad trend is not just domestic. Statista forecasts that the AR advertising market worldwide is estimated to generate $5.2 billion this year, and experience a compound annual growth rate of 9.73 percent, 2024-2028, leading to market volume of $7.5 billion by 2028.

The United States is the primary engine in this market segment, with a projected volume of $1.2 billion this year, Statista writes, adding that as AR advertising gains global momentum, “countries like the United States and China [are] leading the way in innovative and immersive campaigns.”

Per MediaPost, the guidelines “are not intended to serve as explicit benchmarks for other forms of fully immersive virtual realty and/or mixed reality,” but “do set parameters for new AR advertising experiences,” including:

  • Virtual try-ons
  • Dynamic experiences masks
  • Interactive world views
  • Interactive 3D objects
  • Portals/gateways

The guidelines encompass metrics including impressions, user attribution and audience and traffic. The guideline authors note that “unique interactive and immersive formats” can accrue “non-physical interactions with products, as well as the physical interactions related to browsing,” opening up new types of brand encounters.

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