Advertisers are giddy to experiment with new ad formats that reengage users and spark creativity among brands. Today, Amazon is leading the way in this effort with innovative new ad options for its video, audio, and live streaming channels.
In the following article, we will dive into 3 emerging ad types and what this could mean for advertisers. But before we do, what exactly is an interactive ad?
Interactive Advertising 101
According to a recent announcement:
“With so many screens and an endless stream of information drawing the attention of consumers, it can sometimes be challenging for brands to stand out. Interactive ads, however, can help brands connect more effectively with their audiences by inviting them to actively engage with an ad in an immersive way.” – Amazon
Essentially, interactive advertising is a form of marketing that encourages the target audience to shift from passively viewing an ad to actively engaging with the ad or promotion. This can include everything from augmented reality (AR) to QR codes to filling out a quiz.
Amazon Interactive Ads
Amazon Ads is providing brands with more options to “transform their campaigns so that they reach audiences directly and intentionally”. Let’s take a look!
1. Amazon Interactive Video Ads
Interactive video ads are being developed as a new and seamless way for viewers to shop while watching their favorite streaming content. This new ad format was first announced on stage by Alan Moss, Amazon’s VP of Global Advertising Sales, at Amazon Unboxed 2021.
This is how Amazon’s interactive advertising for video works: An ad plays as the viewer is watching streaming video content on the IMDb TV app on Fire TV. If they want to learn more about the brand or product, they can use either their remote or their voice to engage with the ad.
The viewer will be able to:
- Request product details by email
- Buy now
- Add the featured item to their cart
- Add the featured item to a list
In addition to the voice-activated and remote-activated actions, the viewer can also scan an on-screen QR code with their phone to visit the brand’s landing page.
“The announcement of interactive video ads is extremely exciting. Instead of relying on memory recall, customers can take direct action in the moment to purchase a product.”
— Kyra Alpiner, Marketplace Insight Specialist at Tinuiti
Interactive video ads are currently in Beta, and only available on the IMDb TV app on the Fire TV. Amazon interactive video ads are already showing great promise. According to internal Amazon data, the interactive video ads are generating 18% higher engagement and click-through rates than dynamic video and standard pre-roll ads.
Brands have cause to be excited about this ad format’s potential, and may want to start brainstorming interactive advertising ideas for future campaigns.
2. Amazon Enhanced Interactive Audio Ads
Hand in hand with Amazon’s interactive video ads offerings are Enhanced Interactive Audio Ads. Like the interactive video ads, interactive audio ads allow listeners to purchase items, add them to their cart, or request details—even if they don’t remember the product’s exact name. This innovation is only possible thanks to the development of Amazon’s smart speaker Alexa.
“Audio and streaming advertisements are clearly strong areas of focus for Amazon this year. The introduction of Audio Ads on Alexa-enabled devices allows us to reach shoppers on a new medium where they can purchase or request more details in real-time without lifting a finger.”
— Jessica Shapp, Specialist, Marketplace Search at Tinuiti
When it’s fully released, brands will be able to run a 10- to 30-second audio ad on Amazon Music (but only the ad-supported tier) that includes voice-based calls-to-action. These CTAs will let customers engage with the ad by simply asking Alexa to “remind me,” “send me more information,” or “Add to cart.”
Alexa will automatically now know which product is being feature in the add ad take the action requested by the user.
3. Interactive Incentives for Twitch
When looking at interactive advertising companies should also consider other Amazon-owned properties like Twitch. Streamers are compelling entertainers and a valuable channel for brands that want to expand their reach.
Twitch is a streaming platform that allows users to watch and broadcast live video content to audiences on the platform. Twitch is best known for its videogame streams, where streamers play games and provide commentary while also engaging with audiences who communicate via a visible chat interface. These high-profile videogame streamers garner tens of thousands of views a day each.
While many of us still think of gaming first and foremost when it comes to Twitch, the service has expanded in recent years, including content focused on cooking, music, sports, and more.
“Gaming—it’s in our DNA. However, these past few years we’ve seen incredible growth of all types on the service, from different types of content, to hours watched, to viewership, and more.” —Jesse Shaw | Head of Sales Partnerships, Twitch
“Streamers are bringing their whole selves to Twitch, streaming more than just gameplay,” says Sarah Looss, Twitch’s Head of Sales, Americas. “They’re streaming their other interests and things that make them special, like cooking, exercise, art, and so much more.”
In recognition of streamer’s ability to drive views, Twitch is releasing a new ad program called Interactive Incentives. This ad program, which is powered by an integration with Amazon Moments, allows advertisers to offer perks and discounts to streamers that interact with their branded extensions.
As Looss explains:
“A brand will run an ad to take viewers to a sponsored Twitch stream. While watching the stream, viewers can earn a reward for engaging with the branded extension; they can gain points based on the number of chat interactions, or participate in an on-screen game. And then, the reward can be redeemed on a curated Amazon Moments landing page, specific to the brand.”
This new ad format has the potential to drive great advertising benefits for both brands and streamers alike, and provide an additional way for viewers to support their favorite streamers.
Want to learn more? Check out “Amazon unBoxed: Full Recap, Announcements, and Expert Takeaways” and be sure to look out for our upcoming recap of the event later this year.