How To: Advertise in Virtual Reality

Photo by Samuel Zeller on Unsplash

Photo by Samuel Zeller on Unsplash

As advertising makes its way into the virtual reality (VR) world, a new model is necessary in order to positively impact players and drive them to revisit your brand after they’ve put their headsets down for the night.

VR is highly engaging and oftentimes, emotionally charged - traditional marketing just won’t cut it. Studies show that the most successful VR ads are so discreet that players don’t even realize that they’re being pitched. Creativity, flow, and interactivity are all components that must be involved while advertising in VR, and these are our top tips for how your agency can reach this unique audience.

  • First, the obvious, don’t be intrusive or disrupt the game world

    • VR allows players to escape and enter a new reality, one where they don’t expect to be nagged with advertisements or pop-ups.

  • According to a recent study by YuMe, a leader in video advertising, 74% of players feel that VR ads are less intrusive than traditional digital ads.
  • Pick the right format

    • While video ads that flow with the VR story top the charts as most effective, there are several formats to keep in mind.

    • According to MediaPost, results for aided recall are as follows:

      • 88% pre-roll

      • 59% banner ad

      • 35% 3D interactive

      • Pick the right format

  • “Sponsor” a character and make your advertisement part of the game
    • Coca-Cola is “sponsoring” an in-game character in EA Sports’ Fifa 18.

  • Implement product placement and branded logos/3D branded objects

    • An article from Hammer and Tusk suggests a driver in a VR world wearing an Armani suit, driving a Ferrari, and signing documents with a MontBlanc pen.

    • There’s a world of opportunity for product placement which feels natural and like part of the story.

  • Make it interactive
    • Since players are already in an interactive world, why not make your ad interactive too?

    • Ikea Place is collaborating with Apple ARKit to allow buyers to virtually place furniture in their homes to see what it would look like.

The guidelines may seem complicated, but it’s a worthwhile venture as the gaming industry’s expected yearly revenue is forecast to ring in at $109 billion (according to MarketingDive).If you’re able to successfully pull off a VR ad, your agency is sure to make its mark on players and in a brand new world.