SALISBURY, CT — We have had interactive media as long as we have had Nintendo Entertainment Systems, or choose-your-own-adventure books.

But three things are different in 2023:

  1. The scale of usage.
  2. The extent to which younger people live engage in purely interactive environments.
  3. The extent to which interactive media are now also advertising media.

In this video interview with Mike Shields for Beet.TV, Zoe Soon, VP, Experience Center, IAB, says there are two takeaways for the industry – a need to reach in to interactive worlds, and a need for brands to measure what happens in them.

Evolving Measurement for Active Entertainment

“We’re seeing a move from one-way, passive media consumption to a more participatory, two-way interactive experience of digital,” Soon says.

“We’re going to have to evolve measurement to capture this. Active entertainment engagement is becoming more popular with every generation.”

She suggests the future of advertising lies in co-creating content and experiences with consumers, marking a significant departure from traditional methods of ad delivery.

Augmented Reality: The New Frontier

On the topic of Augmented Reality (AR), Soon says that the IAB is currently developing AR measurement standards.

The goal is to provide more transparency for brands by focusing on three aspects:

  1. Delivery.
  2. Engagement specific to AR.
  3. Performance metrics.

The latter includes measures such as second-hand impressions, which occur when a consumer shares an AR activation on their social media.

Gaming as an Essential Strategy

Gaming emerges as a significant focus in this discussion, with Soon urging brands to approach it thoughtfully.

“People should look at gaming as part of a mixed-media model. They need to understand the community. It’s really important to respect the communities and make sure that your message has a purpose and where it’s going to get placed and then it resonates,” she advises.

The importance of gaming as an advertising platform cannot be overstated. Gaming reaches a staggering three billion people, making it a vital touchpoint for younger generations. “If you’re not willing to develop your voice now in gaming, how are you going to reach these younger audiences in more immersive spaces? It’s an essential strategy to ensure longevity of your brand,” Soon asserts.

And she sees the necessity spilling over into what’s being called “the metaverse”: “I think we’ll see the same trajectory [as with mobile]. We’ll see so much attention and time spent in these environments that we will be forced to work them out. It’s inevitable.”

Amplification and Quality Interaction

The immersive nature of gaming and AR also amplifies the impact of traditional advertising. “If someone sees a display ad, but they’ve had a really immersive experience with a brand in-game or around the game, that ad hits differently,” Soon notes.

The shift from a “spray and pray” approach to advertising towards a focus on depth and quality of interaction is evident.

Soon contends: “It’s not just about getting your brand in front of eyeballs anymore. It’s about are you evoking an emotional response? Is there attention? Is there intention around your brand?”

You’re watching coverage of Beet Retreat Berkshires, our latest Retreat in Salisbury, Connecticut — presented by Magnite, KERV & TransUnion. For more videos from this event, please visit this page.