Virtual Reality Advertising Tested: Pre-Roll Wins

While advertising in virtual reality is hardly a mass market reality, some new insights are indicating that there are some ways of doing it better than others.

In a test of ads inside a virtual reality game, researcher found that some formats were more effective than others.

Biometric measurements were taken from a sample of three ad formats seen by a panel of 54 U.S. adults.

The study, conducted by YuMe, with Isobar, Rlty Chk and Retinad, was aimed at learning the ad recall rates over a 24-hour-period.

The ad formats in the VR games were pre-roll video, logo banner ads and 3D interactive objects.

To determine effectiveness, various measurements were taken, including by measuring heart rate variability, measuring skin conductance and measuring facial muscle contractions as indicators of pleasant or unpleasant affect.



Pre-roll came out on top both on aided and unaided recall. Here’s the rate for aided recall:

  • 88% -- Pre-roll
  • 59% -- Banner ad
  • 35% -- 3D interactive

As might be expected, un-aided recall of ads was a bit lower, but the patterns remained the same. Here’s the unaided recall rate:

  • 59% -- Pre-roll
  • 35% -- Banner ad
  • 20% -- 3D interactive

The good news for the prospects of VR advertising is that most (74%) found the experience less intrusive than digital advertising and most (69%) said the ad was well integrated.

Brand recall in VR gaming was high across all ad formats but only video maintained high ad recall the next day, with unaided recall of the ads overall at 30%. Pre-roll topped that category as well, with 43% unaided recall.

This may be one early indicator that at least some form of advertising can be effective in some forms of virtual reality.

Hey, it’s a start.

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