A new study by Vibrant Media suggests that introducing virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) to advertising may be the best way to improve viewer engagement and get the message across in a world where ad blocking software has become the norm for many users.
The study concluded that the vast majority of consumers all want the same thing – a reduction in the number of adverts that are irrelevant to them, and a wish that adverts be less intrusive. Some analysts have suggested that the line between advertising and content should become thinner, a conclusion that Jordan Edelson, founder and CEO or Appetizer Mobile, agrees with: “VR, AR, and 360-degree video formats provide a new level of interaction with advertising content that makes the experience more interesting to your average consumer, who is able to experience a larger dimension of immersion with these technologies. By using VR and AR, publishers and their advertisers can build native, shareable user experiences that will ultimately make ads much less intrusive.”
Helen Mussard, VP of global marketing for Vibrant Media says that the company carried out test campaigns using VR and 360-degree content that attained 600% more interaction rates that standard 2D video ads: “When consumers engage with VR ads via a mobile device, we’re achieving an 85% interaction rate compared to the industry average of only 2.5% for digital advertising as a whole,” says Mussard.
Analysts warn, however, that the VR ads need to be carefully targeted, and not freeze out any potential consumers by being platform exclusive as VR and 360-degree content is currently quite expensive to produce, and overspending in this area could be a mistake. Brad Phaisan, CEO of OmniVirt commented: “It is critically important that digital publishers understand the impact of investments they make in this immersive medium. We don’t think it makes sense for them to overinvest in VR or AR content production or build custom VR apps.”