VR may not yet be a mainstream medium but the next wave of consumer wearables from Apple, Microsoft and Qualcomm coupled with 5G mobile connectivity will likely change that. Advertisers are taking note and plotting ways to connect brands with consumers at a deeper level than ever.
From in-game advertising to higher conversion rates here’s how virtual reality will impact the future of advertising according to member of the Forbes Agency Council.
VR headsets and controllers can already simulate interactions in the real world (such as grabbing objects or walking). Advertisers can use to add a sim of tactility to the user’s experience. This virtual “experiencing” of products can be extended by savvy advertisers to include training, demos or sims of “try before you buy.”
We are already seeing the travel and real estate industry offer 360-degree “walk arounds” for prospective buyers of holidays (like cruise ship vacations) and new builds. Blake George, founder of BMG Media, thinks such interactive VR ads will lead to a higher conversion rate. Since video ads now perform better than images; VR will be the next natural step.
While the application of VR for online events is still in its early stages, Alana Sandel, Chief Experience Officer for Wellness highlights online tools that can integrate avatars and host virtual exhibits, happy hours and networking opportunities as the future of any in-person sponsored event.
Could VR be the next logical step for trade shows? COVID-19 has already challenged our understanding of what visiting an exhibition means. In addition to helping to cut down on costs of travel. Virtual Reality “can positively shape customers’ perceptions of your organization as forward-thinking, green-conscious and tech-savvy,” suggests Michelle Abdow at Market Mentors. Whether trade show organizers themselves see it this way depends on their ability to transition sales of floor space to virtual space on their app.
In-game or in-app advertising is widely expected combined with a digital overlay (AR) on the real world. “There are countless opportunities for companies with physical locations to become part of the experience with paid advertising,” suggests Brian Meert, CEO, AdvertiseMint.
All of these ideas requires new KPI metrics focused more on tracking immersion and in-experience engagement and all of it requires consumer opt-in to share even more of their data to big tech. Give them the experiences they want in return and this won’t be an issue.
One study says the global AR and VR market size is expected to grow by $125.19 billion to 2024 growing at a rate over 35% during the period.