May 13th 2016

Virtual Reality: Unlimited Possibilities for Advertisers.

Posted by Will Shadbolt

After decades of being confined to science fiction, virtual reality is finally here. And, with the release of the Oculus Rift this past March and various forms of it online, it is meant for the mass market, not just the rich. The industry is expected to grow exponentially in the coming years and advertisers are quickly taking note. Several agencies have already begun experimenting with this new technology. But how will advertisers use it? And which ones will flock to the device? Re: the latter question, so far agencies with connections to Hollywood and the gaming community have invested heavily in the medium. Re: the former, who knows. 

Virtual reality is so new, so limitless, that not even the sky is the limit (literally—VR could set people right in a spaceship). So far the only rule consistent across the board is to not go below 90 frames per second, which could give people motion sickness. Most agree that the interactive possibilities open the doors for more emotionally powerful or engaging work, but not every ad needs an impassioned touch. After all, what about light-hearted humor?

Some ads have already made TV crossovers. ABC and Lexus teamed up to make a mini-episode of the show "Quantico," a series centered around the FBI and terrorism. In the short, two characters from the show—a newbie, the viewer, and a woman—team up to capture the target who's spending his evening in a night club. When viewed on Youtube, viewers are free to click and drag to change where their character is looking, mimicking turning your head while wearing a headset. The crew arrives in a Lexus, leaves in a Lexus, and there's a twist involving another Lexus, as well. While it is too short to have real emotional impact, the interactivity elevates what otherwise would have been a "nothing special" ad into an experience. 

A heart touching use of the technology is the "Dream Adventures" Expedia set up at St. Jude Hospital. Thanks to virtual reality technology, children battling cancer got the chance to travel the world. Expedia sent employees to parks, jungles and reefs and gave the kids tours in real time, allowing them to ask questions and truly explore the regions with their guides. 

And those are just two examples. As more and more agencies begin to utilize virtual reality, new pathways, ones few if anyone had previously thought of, are sure to surface and change the game. More real time tours? Full length shows that put you in the middle of the action? Special brand videogames, like the Burger King Xbox ones? Anything goes. And, with many brands looking to get on board (one agency founder currently sees VR components in two out of three brand briefs), ads in virtual reality are not going anywhere soon.

Giovatto Advertising is similarly dedicated to innovation and cutting edge technology. No matter how outlandish the idea, we can turn it into a great video or any other type of ad. Our in-house production studio allows us to shoot and edit right here, and also features awesome green-screen technology. While virtual reality branding might take a few years to really explode, Giovatto is already here. Give us a call today!

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