Is VR Advertising scalable for the future?

The question of VR advertising and its scalability has cropped up again since Facebook’s rather disastrous announcement on the 28th October 2021 in which they introduced to the world their rebrand…Meta.

Whilst this announcement led to backlash and certain publishers pulling out of trails to the metaverse, it does raise some interesting questions and possibilities for the future.

Gone are the days of extortionate £1,000+ VR headsets or the opposite end of the spectrum with cheap cardboard cut out variants, VR headsets have already started to become affordable to the masses and are becoming part of the mainstream technological and gaming culture that is ever-evolving.

With an increase in VR Headset usage, which as a market is expecting significant growth up to $12.19 billion dollars by 2024, there’s no denying that VR is going to be part of the future digital landscape. This naturally leads to advertising opportunities and a new area in which publishers can reach users.

It seems like a rather odd world, Orwellian even, where we play a video game that appears like real life with virtual adverts when you could just go outside and experience it for real, but I’m not here to judge. This does bring the ability to target people on a completely new platform and build awareness and intent in completely new ways. This could be segmented down into interests and behaviours, giving advertisers access to reach and target people like never before.

VR has already started to be incorporated into mainstream marketing. One of our clients, in the new homes sector, has started to offer potential buyers the opportunity to look at show homes through the power of VR. Whilst this was useful during the UK’s array of lockdowns, it has now become a great foot in the door to encourage new buyers onto site and view homes in the flesh. It doesn’t take too much of a leap of faith to imagine home furnishing brands serving product details within each different configuration people may see through VR house viewings. This offers a powerful and never done before joining up of brands.

There have already been several companies filing new trademark applications in order to sell their brand in the digital world. Nike for example, on the 27th of October, has indicated an intent to make and sell Nike branded virtual shoes and clothing.

Apparently, this is all just to “protect” the brand and prepare themselves for this new era, however, it’s doubtful they’d turn their nose up at the ability to increase revenue in this digital space.

Is VR advertising scalable? In short, no one really knows. However, it is likely these virtual platforms will expand and give people the opportunity to buy and sell products in these large digital worlds, which will naturally interest publishers and the options of selling ad spaces within the digital four walls. The most exciting part of all this VR talk is the variety of digital advertising formats this will bring, we’re already seeing a lot of exciting new opportunities with programmatic display, but the possibilities with VR appear endless.

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