Can Ads be Cool? Enter Advertising in Virtual Reality

Imagine you’re in an airplane sitting in your seat; you look around and take in the layout. Out of the window you notice you’re flying over the Golden Gate Bridge. The weather is perfect, and in the distance you can see downtown San Francisco. A flight attendant approaches and tells you the airline is having specials on round trips to popular cities in the U.S. this summer.

Now you’re suddenly in a cold, harsh environment. Snow is falling violently around you, and in the distance you hear faint screams. An elevator door opens in front of you; you enter and start ascending. Then you hear the Game of Thrones theme song. You’re reminded to come back next spring and watch the new season. You realize you were scaling “the Wall” from the show.

These are just two examples of ads in virtual reality and the potential impact it can have on consumers. Ads in virtual reality, unlike any others, will have the ability to immerse consumers in the ad and create memorable experiences. To top it off, ads will finally be cool!

To understand the impact virtual reality (VR) will have on advertising, we first need to understand what virtual reality actually is.

“Virtual reality is the term used to describe a three-dimensional, computer generated environment which can be explored and interacted with by a person. That person becomes part of this virtual world or is immersed within this environment and whilst there, is able to manipulate objects or perform a series of actions.” (Virtual Reality Society, 2016)

Essentially, VR is the closest thing we can get to reality! The creative possibilities for ads in VR for B2C/B2B companies will be limitless. But is this something that will really take off?

Many heavy hitters like Facebook, Google, Sony, Microsoft, HTC, and Samsung have already invested billions in VR technology. By 2020 it is projected that 200+ million VR head mounted displays will be sold worldwide (Tractica, 2016). As of May 10, 2016 there are at least 22 VR head mounted displays available to purchase and it’s estimated that 15 million will be sold this year (Tractica, 2016). With the foundation projected to be in place, the potential is definitely there.

Ads in VR will ultimately open new and different creative opportunities that were previously unavailable to advertisers. If used correctly, ads in VR have the potential to create enjoyable, memorable, and cool experiences that will stay with consumers long after they have absorbed the content…and creating memorable experiences is as good as it gets for advertisers.

Jonathan Molina
Just Media, Inc.


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