Virtual reality will emerge as the next big thing in digital advertising says the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB), by Leonard Klie, in a recent report citing opportunities for immersive storytelling, shopping, product demos, and the power to stir emotions in a new way as some of virtual reality’s major strengths.
Anna Bager, senior vice president and general manager of mobile and video at IAB, expects virtual reality to grow “exponentially” in the next few years as an advertising medium. “… it’s still in its very early days… there is a lot of testing and experimentation going on with it right now…” she says. “… virtual reality is definitely here to stay…”
In the next two years, says the report, IAB expects more companies to start to leverage 360-degree video, 3-D digital billboards, and even TV commercials with virtual reality. Other uses could include interactive games, product demonstrations, and virtual tours. This next phase of experimentation in the medium will be critical in determining its success, the report found.
Bager says in the report “… there’s a lot you can do with virtual reality… advertising capabilities are… beginning to emerge… we have only scratched the surface of what virtual reality, augmented reality, and 360-degree video can offer… as advertising channels… ”
“The Pokémon Go phenomenon has raised the profile of AR and VR, bringing the power of the medium into the mainstream, just as major brands and publishers have begun to tap into its breathtakingly immersive capabilities,” Bager says.
Analysts say VR is especially popular within the tech industry, but high-end car manufacturers like Audi, Jaguar, and Volvo, beverage companies like Coca-Cola and Anheuser Busch, clothing companies like Nike, and even cheese maker Boursin have featured virtual reality in recent ad campaigns.
The IAB does note, however, that content creators need to understand that the VR production process is far from straightforward. With VR, consumers can interact with content and change their field of view and perspective, opportunities traditional media doesn’t present, says the report. Though the hardware is becoming cheaper, sleeker, more advanced, and more readily available, the current rate of adoption will likely lead to monetization challenges, the report suggests.
Car dealerships, real estate agencies, and travel companies, for example, can offer headsets as a service at their locations, but other applications might require consumers to buy headsets and download apps, none of which can be guaranteed.
The report warns that the extraordinary level of hype surrounding virtual reality leads people to expect to be wowed by their first virtual experience. IAB is committed to helping make virtual reality a robust marketing platform and has pledged to help develop standard terminology, definitions, and emerging ad formats, according to Bager.For additional information, please visit here