Virtual Reality

Virtual Reality and the Future of Advertising

Virtual Reality and the Future of Advertising 700 411 Gravitate Digital

In the last year alone, search interest in Virtual Reality has increased four fold. As global attention builds, so too does consumer expectation of this new immersive technology. Thanks to Google’s affordable Cardboard device, everyone with a smartphone can now access a simple version of the virtual world, but this is only the beginning.

Already virtual technology is raising the bar from film and 3D TV to become the mainstay for immersive experiences, and we’ve already seen a branch of VR in the form of 360-degree video – footage shot using omnidirectional cameras –  crop up on youtube, with both popularity and demand growing.

How can advertisers use Virtual Reality to drive sales?

While this sounds like an exciting prospect, it raises questions as to what this could mean for advertisers. Brands such as BMW have wasted no time getting involved, using 360 as a way of featuring an immersive car race, while DirecTV provider AT&T use a simulated road traffic accident to shock viewers into taking road safety seriously. On a more creative level, the team behind new West End musical ‘School of Rock’ have created an immersive 360 music video to help push ticket sales.

The opportunities to use virtual technology as a powerful selling tool are endless. When consumers are able to visualise themselves in the front row seat of a Coldplay gig or standing at the foot of the Eiffel Tower, how could they resist purchasing a ticket or hopping on the next train to Paris?

As Virtual Reality can also give rise to feelings of ‘presence’, making us feel as though we are actually in the situation playing out infront of our eyes – our feelings towards the product or experience may be that much harder to ignore. With audiences becoming active participants rather than passive viewers,  messages will become more impactful, influencing our decision making more than ever.

While it’s still early days, it’s easy to imagine how big an impact this could have not only on sales, but on many aspects of our daily lives. Cardboard is a good start, but Google aren’t hanging around, their VR platform Daydream is already under production.