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June 19, 2023
Niantic Launches In-Game Rewarded AR Ad Format at Cannes Lions International Festival

New innovative solution built on its world leading augmented reality platform

Niantic is a global leader in augmented reality (AR) and the official AR partner of The Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity. The company is launching its new Rewarded AR ads format during the Festival at a watershed moment for spatial computing and AR experiences. As AR goes mainstream, brands and consumers are demonstrating a growing appetite for immersive experiences, and the emerging category of AR advertising. There are predicted to be 1.7 billion global mobile AR users by 20241.

Rewarded AR ads is a revolutionary new ad product from Niantic, which uses the smartphone camera to immerse players within branded content in the real-world around them. The AR ads are powered by Niantic’s AR development platform, 8th Wall, which has been used to create thousands of WebAR marketing campaigns for top brands which, in turn, have engaged millions of people globally.

Niantic is now offering Rewarded AR ads in its popular real-world games like Pokémon GO. Players engage with interactive experiences within these ad units while they move around in the real-world to unlock rewards within the game. This helps to better reach players near key physical locations, delivering branded AR experiences that lead to improved results across the funnel. Rewarded AR ads were designed to increase brand impact through immersive product storytelling, assist with the purchasing decision through AR visualizations, and encourage conversion and sales by driving foot traffic in-store. To help streamline the AR ad development process, Niantic has created partnerships with key development agencies to offer brands a fully-managed creative production process.

“AR offers an exciting new way to engage people powered by fresh innovation in spatial computing. Niantic’s platform features mobile augmented reality advertising formats that blend seamlessly with the real world,” said Erin Schaefer, VP Sales and Global Operations at Niantic. “Audiences can engage with Rewarded AR ads to have immersive and enjoyable brand experiences, discover new products, or engage with interactive features. This helps to better reach people near key physical locations, delivering immersive brand experiences that lead to improved results.”

Early campaigns have shown strong performance. Leading convenience retailer Circle K, successfully piloted Niantic’s Rewarded AR ads with the goal to increase brand awareness and product consideration for its new coffee offering. Players of Pokémon GO were presented with the Rewarded AR ad as a floating balloon in-game. After tapping on the ad and opening their mobile camera, players interacted with a 3D Circle K coffee cup they placed in the space in front of them. After interacting with the larger than life product visualization, players were prompted to get a physical cup of coffee at a nearby Circle K store. The Rewarded AR ad campaign resulted in an average engagement rate of 76% and an average completion rate of 95% for the experience.

Rewarded AR ads deliver deeper consumer engagement for brands, driving stronger brand impact over static banners or video ads alone. In an early study, Niantic found that people also prefer Rewarded AR ads, with roughly 80% of players indicating that AR Ads are a good idea2.

Niantic will be showcasing its Rewarded AR ads at the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity. Brands and agencies can meet with Niantic team members, network with AR experts and industry leaders, and try some of the latest AR experiences and games from Niantic. Interested attendees can register at

1Statista: Augmented reality (AR) - statistics & facts (2022)
2 Niantic: user survey for Rewarded AR Ads (2023)

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