Advertising in the World of VR

Virtual Reality or VR is swiftly gathering a lot of attention on various different platforms. It most definitely has numerous implications, but what will a future with virtual reality mean for advertisers and content creators?

VR had once been the stuff of science fiction and dreams. Today, with a simple piece of cardboard, one can transform a smartphone into a VR headset. Google has brought the VR experience to everyone, with the launch of Google Cardboard. For a viewer, there is no shortage of content to watch. Millions of videos on YouTube can be viewed in VR, making it the world’s largest library of virtual reality content. Such platforms are providing to people all over the world, their first experience of virtual reality.

This technology has the potential to influence and alter daily actions of our daily lives. It can affect how we communicate with one another online, as well as, how we spend our free time. Brands and content creators need to capitalise on such technological developments in order to keep up with the times and their competitors/peers. Such developments can greatly benefit content creators, as the appeal and potential of 360-degree video and VR is extensive.

A significant shift in thinking, conceptualising and executing will take place, as VR allows viewers to be active participants; in the sense that a viewer can look wherever they please. Rather than telling a story one frame at a time, content creators and filmmakers need to create entire worlds. The impact of such an experience cannot be underestimated. 360 degree videos, especially in virtual reality, are powerful tools in creating a sense of empathy. Messages instantly become more powerful and influential. When a viewer feels like they are there, they have a greater sense of the place / situation / state of affairs.

Through online platforms like YouTube, content creators are increasingly using the medium to create experiences that are truly transportive. A viewer can feel those butterflies in their stomach when they are virtually sitting in the cockpit of a jet, or standing on top of a mountain. The New York Times recently put viewers in the shoes of displaced children around the world using virtual reality. Many schools and higher education institutions conduct virtual field trips allowing staff to take students places a school bus most definitely can’t. Music lovers can enjoy concerts while fashion enthusiasts can get a front row seat at the latest runway shows from Jason Wu, Hugo Boss, and Dior. It is truly a game-changing piece of technology and a mind-boggling experience.

VR almost certainly peaks our interest every time we are encountered with it. If used right, it could be a game-changer in advertising. Consider those ads that play before a YouTube video that anyone can easily skip after five seconds, which is in fact, what most people do. Now imagine an advert before a video that incorporates either 360 degree technology or virtual reality into the story and message. Most viewers would be intrigued by what is on display, rather than counting down those five seconds. The implications and opportunities are cosmic. Ground-breaking developments such as this will be the face of advertising over time, but there is a chance to capitalise even now.