Exploring Immersive Advertising

As advertisers contemplate what might be poised for breakout success in 2017, it’s a good time to look at some lessons from the potentially explosive growth in virtual reality and what many have termed “immersive advertising.”

Marketing Daily has a few thoughts:

Virtual Reality Requires a New Breed of Directors

Immersive advertising environments offer viewers the opportunity to play “director” in creating their experience. This presents new challenges and opportunities for content creators who must leverage new techniques when repurposing content from linear environments. There can be a beginning and an end to a narrative; however, the middle portion might look more like a “choose your own adventure,” providing the consumer various paths to select to keep them interested, engaged, and in control of their experience.

Consumers Still Need to Be Guided

Understanding the similarities that exist between an immersive 3D world and a distracted TV environment in a household setting is important in creating a new virtual world. In both environments, viewers can focus their attention on things other than the story a brand is trying to tell. This new type of storytelling requires a delicate balance of managing “freedom and flow,” by providing the consumer with the liberty to explore a new world or experience while also carrying them along a defined story arc that leads to desired brand engagement.

Make It Emotionally Engaging

If done correctly, immersive content in a VR environment can be more emotionally engaging than content in a 360-degree video or a traditional TV viewing experience. This emotional response is largely driven by the format’s ability to give the illusion of presence in a new, sometimes unfamiliar environment, in a hyper-realistic way. In doing so, brands can present experiences that are designed to produce an element of surprise and elicit joy and delight. Moreover, the consumer’s heightened senses fully engage them emotionally in the story and the brand message.

These new ad formats have the potential to transform the advertising experience for brands, publishers, and consumers. This year might the year they take off.