Google’s new ad format makes you immersed: How?

Good old internet is not going away. After months of involving international brands as a part of its testing, Google announced the launch of Swirl globally. While the idea is simple, Google adopts the format of 3D banner ads one step further. 

Let’s talk about what and how. The Swirl is a revolution of banner advertisement format that allows marketers to engage an immersive interaction with the audience. When a targeted user scrolls down a page and finds Swirl 3D ad, users are invited to dynamically move and inspect the content with their fingers, right inside the banner ad. The level of interaction is only viable in 3D models and animation, showcasing the user not as a passive viewer of advertisement, but as an active participant.

This enables marketers to showcase ‘parallax effect’ of distinctive product features, illustrating digital improvement in delivering consumer experience and product performance.

One of the tested international brands is Adidas, which was looking to capture users’ attention by displaying the innovative design of Ultra Boost 2019 edition. Swirl ad highlighted an up-close look for potential audience without having to visit an offline store. Accordingly, the ad boosted a 4 times higher engagement rate than the intended benchmarks and immensely indicated that the ad was able to attain the goal of capturing prospective buyers.

Source: Ad Week

Some might say that Swirl is an exaggerated format of the good old advertising form. However, Swirl does not require extra functionality nor does it take extra spaces, it is an advancement of an ad format competing in the same ring as standard digital ad inventory and it is winning. 

Looking to broader perspectives, it is endless possibilities we are talking about, including the potential contribution it might have to other major advertising verticals. One example, may be a fashion industry looking to define its detailed designs and fabric on a T-shirt it is producing. These details call for a new level of creativity, peculiarly one that can portray visually-enhancing set-up towards depths and dimensional element, breaking out from the limit of a mere flat image. It is a wonder that brands who are ready to be innovative, exhibit product transparency, create an immersive experience will settle for the new medium. 

While 3D is not a totally new concept, marketers will have to cultivate innovative ideas and propositions to think about. How do you best visualise the product to bring it to life? How do you best utilise this new platform? These are the questions brands should delve themselves into. Just as AR campaigns have been evolving its path to various social media platforms, Google has also unlocked its door for the largest opportunity of an interactive advertising experience – Swirl, the 3D banner ad.

What do you think about it? In a user’s perspectives, do you find it interesting? If your favourite brand uses Swirl, how do you think it will affect your opinion about the brand? Possibly, will there be a negative impact to this?

25 thoughts on “Google’s new ad format makes you immersed: How?

  1. Your blog looks fantastic! This was really interesting to read, I have definitely seen it before but didn’t know what it was until now! I think the swirl is a great addition, especially since im online shopping so much ahah

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    1. That’s an amazing compliment, thank you Maddy! I’d assume that it is still a foreign concept for a lot of people and there might be a need for further explanations for this but i am glad i can provide information about it! There you go, imagine the impact that 3D ad is going to have when you are shopping in your favourite webshop, looking into details your style of clothing, that might give you a clearer visualisation to how it’d look on you even though you have never once tried it. That will totally thrill us online shoppers! Your comment is totally appreciated:)

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  2. Really insightful post! I hadn’t heard of the Swirl before, but I can definitely see how valuable this will be in gaining consumer attention. Personally, this would be a technique that I would really appreciate seeing as a consumer, especially for things like clothing where I could see the details and get a better idea of the quality of the product. Great post 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. We thought about the same thing! Although i hope that pandemic will be over soon and we’ll be able to go try clothes directly offline, it will be great to have this addition in the webshop for us to take a closer look to products that we want to purchase, especially, pre-order products which might be difficult to access offline. Visualising ad will definitely give us the certainty we need in online shopping, thank your for giving your opinion Caitlyn!:)

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      1. You can’t imagine how much i was delighted to hear that!:) Certainly. I’d love to be spoiled by the authenticity of each product and that will definitely be an immersive experience. However, it needs to be noted that the actual product needs to be as good as the ad showcases to maximise the overall purchase experience of the buyer. Loved your display picture, Kitty!

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  3. This is such an interesting post Cindy! I haven’t heard of Swirl before but it sounds extremely interesting. I’ve always found advertisements which incorporate immersive interaction to be most effective in capturing my attention. I also think this would also help me feel more comfortable shopping online since we could even better observe products like clothing without actually having to go in-store.

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    1. That’s exactly what it is! Swirl has just been opened this August for registration and the marketing opportunities are just endless. I am sure that it will be widely utilised in the future for easier consumer shopping experience. Just like you said, it will provide more consumer engagement as it requires consumers to actually move the content inside the ad, it is likely that this will double-fold the attraction consumers have with the brand. Thank you Ella for commenting!:)

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  4. Wow, this sounds like everything I need and more and can’t believe I’m only hearing about Swirl now, thank you Cindy! I love the concept of 3D imaging, especially for product shopping which will hopefully push more conservative consumers to feel more comfortable shopping online! Great post 🙂

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    1. I am glad that i am able to provide this information! I can understand that you just heard of it because it has actually just been launched. The idea of having a 3D ad has always been there but it has just come to implication now, I want to emphasise that the fact that consumers are able to engage actively to the content will reduce the potential risks and negative reviews because brand has made it clearer about what consumers are getting themselves into. Loved your opinion about conservative consumers because I totally agree!:)

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  5. Great post! I think Swirl adds an interesting kick in the advertisement, it also heighten customer engagement. I do find it interesting, I can look the detail of the product more closely. I don’t think that it will bring a negative impact to the company, in fact its the opposite, in my opinion it really is beneficial and valuable for customers. Love it!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for commenting Shella! That is true in a way that users are able to look closely to details and ensure the quality of the product displayed. However, marketers also do need to think about the consistency of how the product looks in the ad and how it looks in real life. 3D gives certain expectation towards the product quality in a way it highlights the product details, if it cannot maintain the same quality it provides in the ad, it is not going to affect positively to the brand. Excited for your next post!:)

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  6. Wow this is the technological progress we’re looking for! I think for now the engagement rate is high because it’s new so people are interested, but once everyone starts to use it, do you think it will still has high engagement rate?

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    1. Hey Sherlyn, nice to see you again here! It is possible that it will not. Nonetheless, it is of great interest to note that the benefit of Swirl itself enables marketers to showcase dimensional element to the product and give the product the attention it deserves by engaging consumers to look at it from different angles. That is why even if the newly 3D ad format has become a long used concept for marketers, its benefit will still be as interesting in consumers’ perspectives who are searching for quality display of the product online. I bet at that point there will be a new ad format invention that can catch us off guard just like Swirl!

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  7. Love the visuals Cindy! I’ve always been aware about this form of advertising but never knew the term used for it. Would definitely feel much better about my shopping experience as a consumer if more brands start incorporating the use of Swirl.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That’s right! Once we have started the era of 3D ads, we will not look back to the standard ad format. It is fascinating that you know about it, i guess that as a marketer we need to raise awareness about what’s good and what can be used for future implication. Thank you Sean, always nice to see your comment:)

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    1. Thank you for the comment! I am glad that i can raise exposure about the new ad invention. It will be great to see some brands utilising the 3D format in the future soon, that way as a consumer we’ll be able to experience online shopping journey to our heart’s content and possibly eliminate the pain points of unclear product pictures on web channel.

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  8. This is amazing! I have heard of 3D ad that Google will be the one that created it. I hope in future’s application, businesses will be able to optimise the usage of Swirl to their advantages, to enhance consumer experience. Great work, Cindy!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. YES! Ads are incorporated to either get people exposed to the brand or to promote its newest product collection and gets us consumers interested. Saying that, this 3D format has given an opportunity for marketers to possibly catch the attention of the brands that prospective consumers are still unaware of. That seems amazing already!:)

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  9. This was a great read and really insightful as I personally have not come across it. Swirl has the potential to be the next big thing in marketing, as it is eliminating the number of clicks or touchpoints a customer has to go through to get a better understanding of the product being advertised. I can see myself getting distracted by one of these and impulse buying something I wasn’t even considering! I wonder if swirl is detected by adblockers?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Exactly! the fact that consumers are able to explore it by themselves can gain the campaign huge reach it needs. As i know, other than the new format itself, it is basically the same as the standard ad. I can say that It all comes down to whether marketers are able to promote value in the advertising to interactively create a content that enables them to be interested, and at least for now, the Swirl is the perfect channel to effectively attract high engagement from potential consumers. Thank you for your comment, i appreciate it!:)

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  10. Fascinating post, Cindy : ) I hadn’t heard of 3D Swirl before but I can immediately see its great marketing potential for grabbing people’s attention, creating rich immersive stories around your products/services, communicating key information quickly, and increasing brand awareness. It also might provide interesting analytics–for example, how are customers engaging with your ads and how much time are they spending interacting with it.

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