What does finance feel like? Kayla Buchanan of Immersion has an idea. She recently worked on haptic-enhanced ads for Capital One and Android Pay, which took different approaches to conveying their messages. One was visually rich; the other, not so much — until haptic design made it shine.
Visually dynamic financial ads are rare, which makes interesting textures challenging to design. Most often, people stand in-frame as text appears over or around them. “There are no real financial haptics,” Kayla said. “Usually it’s some sort of payment method … like someone paying at a gas station with a card.”
That wasn’t the case for Capital One’s ad, entitled “Dawn,” which featured a horse crossing picturesque vistas. Kayla described it as more of a trailer than an ad, and it was ripe with opportunities for haptic textures: galloping hooves churned up sandy beaches while the wind and rain blew. There was so much going on that Kayla said they had to cut back on haptics. When the video showed conflicting textures, they defaulted to the horse’s galloping because the ad told his story.
Kayla said that Dawn, with its horse and natural visuals, was already an interesting commercial. But another ad’s lack of motion gave haptics room to contribute.
Promoting Android Pay, a more conventional ad Kayla worked on, had little motion. People standing still didn’t lend itself to much … until the special effects began. To convey the message that “life’s more difficult without Android Pay,” people in the ad appeared to “glitch” with a static effect.
“Android Pay was just a typical commercial. But with haptics, you pay more attention. It’s more memorable,” Kayla said. ”Usually you’d skip past a video about a credit card, but getting viewers’ attention is easier with haptics. It adds another layer to something that’s very common.”
In the end, haptic design brings attention to advertisements that people might normally gloss over. They take notice when their phones react to even subtle motions and effects. Unlike other verticals, where textures enhance existing video and audio, haptics introduce something new to financial ads. Haptics can make ordinary content memorable.