Branded content appears in-game, promising an immersive advertising experience.

Last week during the Cannes Lions International Festival, Niantic, creator of popular augmented reality (AR) mobile games such as Pokémon GO and Pikmin Bloom, announced the launch of Rewarded AR, an immersive ad format that allows players to interact with branded content using their smartphone camera. By moving around the real world, players can unlock exclusive rewards in-game.

The AR advertising product was built using 8th Wall, Niantic’s AR development platform, and designed to improve brand impact “through immersive product storytelling.” The company hopes to encourage brands to utilize the new ad format by streamlining the development process via a series of partnerships with various development agencies.

Credit: Niantic

“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 of 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.”

Credit: Niantic

Players can interact with Rewarded AR ads now in games like Pokémon GO. The company recently partnered with the popular convenience store chain Circle K to bring immersive advertisements to the location-based monster-hunting experience. Floating balloons would appear in-game, leading players to a Circle K coffee cup. Upon interacting with the virtual beverage, they were then encouraged to pick up an actual cup of joe at their local Circle K.

Credit: Niantic, 8th Wall

“We are always looking for meaningful new ways to engage with our customers and give them compelling new reasons to make Circle K a part of their day, and our collaboration with Niantic on Pokémon GO has opened up some exciting possibilities,” added Margaret Barron, vice president of global marketing for Circle K.

“Rewarded AR integrates Circle K into this wildly popular gaming environment with timely and relevant offers that enhance brand awareness and loyalty, and we’ve been very pleased with the results so far.”

For more information on Niantic’s in-game Rewarded AR ad format visit here.

Feature Image Credit: Niantic