In the past few years, there has been a push in the entertainment industry towards incorporating virtual reality into mainstream media through video games, music videos, and online videos. Some companies, such as Google, Coca-Cola, and Infinity, have jumped on the bandwagon, releasing ads to take advantage of the format. With all the advances being made and the technology starting to become more available and affordable, it seems like the future of advertising is to be set in the virtual world.
What is virtual reality? According to Dictionary.com, virtual reality is defined as, “the computer-generated simulation of a three-dimensional image or environment that can be interacted with in a seemingly real or physical way by a person using special electronic equipment, such as a helmet with a screen inside or gloves fitted with sensors.” If you have seen people walking around with a bulky helmet or goggles on, waving their hands in the air like they can see something you can’t, they are probably participating in virtual reality.
There are a lot of advantages that come with this technology. Being able to explore a space where you normally wouldn’t be able to is an experience some companies have taken advantage of. For instance, Infinity’s venture into VR allows potential buyers to experience what it is like to get behind the wheel of their Q60. The ad, titled “The Dream Road,” places the viewer in the car and takes them on a scenic tour of the world, racing down mountains, across bridges, and around winding roads. During which the user can explore and see “in person” what the interior of the car looks like.
Chick-fil-a has also begun to explore what VR can do for them. The chicken restaurant launched a website to host their video, “Cowz VR.” In this video, the viewer is taken on an adventure including sky diving, stock car racing, and snow boarding down a mountain. Accompanying them through the fun the entire way are the ever-mooing cows that have become so popular. Towards the end, the viewer finds themselves in an open field surrounded by cows wearing their call to action, “Eat Mor Chikin.”
Probably the most popular VR ad to come out last year was the “IT” experience. Last summer, blockbuster thriller “IT” released a virtual reality trailer, which took viewers through the terrifying sewers from the film. In this terrifying journey, you are forced to take a tour of the sewers from the film all the while being able to look in all directions. Featuring creepy dialogue, dark spaces, and jump scares galore; this ad is a horror junkie’s dream.
So, it appears that VR is currently a hot topic. Some of the biggest companies are using it for their advertisements, and some of them have gained traction in the marketing world. Virtual reality might have a way to go before if can rival traditional media, but be on the look out for an increase in virtual reality advertising.