written by: Liu Jiaqi, Tina

Virtual reality (VR) is considered to be one of the hottest technologies for promotion nowadays. It is receiving a lot of attention by marketers and advertising agencies who would like to catch up with the thriving technology trend. Dior, Volvo, and lots of other big brands have also launched their own VR devices .

The use of VR as a ad/promotion tool pertains different considerations:

Unique and first time execution
P&G’s Rejoice produced a series of commercials called [My VR Boy/Girl Friend] in 2016, winning 10 million views and a threefold sales increase within a week [1]. It has quickly become a sensation for marketers. It is the first of its kind to combine social content and social commerce with its launch of the VR commercials on the landing page of mobile Taobao. With a touch of freshness, the ad series created a hype of ground-breaking success to Rejoice.

Device and cost limitation
However, the quality of the VR ads production quality and the immersion effect is not exceptionally impressive. The lack of interaction feels more like 360-degree videos rather than VR videos. Besides the technological limitations, making a VR commercial is costly and sometimes may only be able to attend to a small group of audience as most people do not have VR devices handy. As such, VR advertising has a long way to go to become a sustainable communication tool.

Technology leverage in future digital advertising
History shows that technology develops fast. When most all the internet giants in the world (Google, Facebook, Alibaba, Tencent, and others) are continuously investing resources to VR development, it is reasonable to believe that technical problems could be solved rapidly before long, and. no advertisers would be willing to forego this potential promotion medium.

100% audience attention once engaged
VR experience in an enclosed environment enables 100% users’ attention as they are virtually cut off from the outside world when they are wearing the VR device. As opposed to print ads, display ads and TV commercials, consumers are insular to the noise of distraction. VR leads consumers to become part of the advertisement, giving them initiatives and choices to interact freely.

How will the VR technology evolve? Will it successfully become the next big thing in advertising? Let’s wait and see.

[1] http://www.sohu.com/a/115112236_119027