Virtual reality advertising is fundamentally changing how brands communicate with consumers.
We are shifting from a flat communication structure to immersive formats.
And it’s happening right now.
Read on to learn how VR advertising is changing the future of marketing.
VR Advertising Defined
VR advertising is short for virtual reality advertising and refers to brands promoting products in a virtual 3D world.
VR ad viewers can engage with the content without needing to be there physically and without any external interruptions.
VR vs. AR – What’s the Difference?
AR and VR are often confused with each other, but they are actually different.
Augmented reality (AR) technology mixes the real world with digital elements that are viewed through a device like a mobile phone.
Whereas Virtual reality (VR) is a fully immersive digital environment.
Demand for VR is Growing
Virtual reality is still in its infancy, but as the perks become more well-known, the market is expanding beyond gaming and entertainment.
Between 2020 and 2021, VR users in the US rose over 20%, from 50 million to 60 million, and are expected to hit nearly 80 million by 2023.
As more people consume VR content, they are more likely to be open to ads.
According to a recent Consumer Tech Preferences survey by GroupM, VR customers are extremely open (over 70%) to seeing ads regularly if it lowers the cost of content consumption.
Creating a golden opportunity for forward-thinking brands to resonate with much larger audiences at a deeper level than what is available traditionally.
VR Ads Increase Purchase Intent
Service-dominant logic (Vargo and Lusch, 2008) shows that customers play a big role in creating value through their interactions with products, sellers, and other customers.
Virtual reality technology increases buyer and seller interaction, reducing perceived risks and increasing trust.
This may explain why a recent study found that the payoff for 360 VR is big!
Examples of VR Ads (and why they work)
There are already several examples of VR ads that are successfully engaging consumers and increasing purchase intent.
Some of the most successful VR ads so far include a Samsung ad that took people on a virtual roller coaster ride, a Volvo ad that allowed viewers to experience being a passenger in a car and a Nike ad that allowed users to run in a simulated world.
What all of these ads have in common is that they create an immersive experience for the viewer that allows them to connect with the product in a way that traditional advertising cannot.
In 2021 high-end fashion house Gucci partnered with Roblox to bring Gucci’s digital items to the gaming platform’s metaverse for a limited event.
Even though the Roblox Gucci Garden was available for only two weeks, it was visited by 20 million players.
Now, Gucci has opened a permanent space in Roblox metaverse with Gucci Town, where players can learn about the iconic brand’s history and connect with other people in the game.
The interactive elements of Gucci Town include mini-games, browsable art exhibitions, and a store where people can purchase virtual Gucci clothing for their avatars.
To market its outdoor apparel and accessories line, TERREX, Adidas had a creative idea. They put viewers inside a VR landscape with the world's best mountain climbers.
Adidas invites viewers to follow the mountain-climbing journey of two extreme athletes, Ben Rueck and Delaney Miller, literally rock for rock.
Viewers could actually scale the mountain of Delicatessen right alongside Rueck and Miller, using a VR headset and sensory remote controls.
Shoe company, Toms, rose to popularity in 2006 in part due to their one-for-one model (giving one pair of shoes to a child in need every time a customer purchases a pair of shoes.)
In 2015, the company invited viewers to spend time with some children in Peru to see in 360 degrees the incredible work Toms’ Giving Partners do.
Tom’s VR campaign was successful because it let consumers experience where their money was going.
The campaign was accessible to all viewers, including those without a VR headset. Users could move the video on screen 360 degrees, thus creating an intimate experience and encouraging consumers to buy Toms.
Predictions on how VR will change the future of advertising
In a way, the future of VR in advertising is already here.
As seen above, brands are already using VR ads to stand out and inspire new conversations.
Virtual reality (coupled with solid creative concepts) can take your ad campaign to the next level.
Consumers have developed an immunity to ads. They are accustomed to scrolling past them on social media or skipping them entirely when streaming video.
VR gamifies the ad experience with interactive elements that draw consumers in. Making engaging with advertising - dare we say - fun.
Ready to get started with VR ads?
As you can see, VR advertising is a powerful tool that can be used to create immersive experiences for consumers.
With the right creative concepts, VR can be used to inspire new conversations about your product and increase purchase intent.
When you're ready to get started with VR ads, our team of experts is here to help. Click the pink chatbot in the bottom right-hand corner of this page.