There are three main types of non-traditional/futuristic media surging onto consumer screens. 360 Video VR experiences are becoming more common while immersive experiences using a headset and interactive experience are still somewhat novel and lead by tech junkies and gamers. As an advertiser, 360 video is the easiest to jump into. It provides an accessible low-cost entry point into advertising within existing channels. It also enables the use of Headsets for immersive Virtual Reality experiences.
Second to this, augmented reality development kits for mobile devices are accessible but can be difficult to develop for and can be prohibitively expensive to launch. Truly immersive experiences popularized in a growing gaming market are still very difficult to develop for with no clear major platform leading the pack. “Traditional” digital advertising players Google and Facebook are competing to bring immersive experiences to consumers and hopefully the ability to advertise in those spaces as well.
“360-degree videos, also known as immersive videos or spherical videos, are video recordings where a view in every direction is recorded at the same time, shot using an omnidirectional camera or a collection of cameras. During playback, the viewer has control of the viewing direction like a panorama.” – Wikipedia
More About 360 Video
A headset can take 360 videos a step further by making the user turn their head to view the video from a different angle. On top of that, spatial audio lets people listen to audio from all directions, just as in the real world. Omnivirt claims its the leader in 360 VR ad placement. It enables placement on the web, mobile and in snapshot and twitter. They state 360V has “10X Performance” over static adds.
360 Video may be applicable but it’s difficult to introduce immersive VR ads to the viewer unless they are already plugged into a headset system. These videos can be navigated with a mouse for an impressive but sub-par experience to headset use. On mobile, you can use your finger, or some implementations utilize mobile phone sensors to force the user to point the phone in different directions to see different content. These videos can be made with relatively cheap with semi-pro 360 cameras, utilizing Adobe’s editing software and implement in some traditional digital ad spaces or posted as branded content. Additional promoting of live 360 Video may be a good way to get consumers to put a headset on. Check out some semi-pro 360 Video equipment for under 200 bucks.
“Augmented reality (AR) is a live direct or indirect view of a physical, real-world environment whose elements are “augmented” by computer-generated perceptual information, ideally across multiple sensory modalities, including visual, auditory, haptic, somatosensory, and olfactory.”- Wikipedia
More About AR
One of the biggest advantages of AR is seeing items in real size. Consumers can preview what an item will look like in a space or even virtually try clothing/accessories on before buying it. This makes AR a powerful support tool for driving e-commerce sales. While gaming and physical goods have taken the forefront in AR. Games, retail goods, and entertainment applications have taken the forefront in AR. The future of AR may steer toward utilitarian displays, as seen in a car here. If you are an app developer looking to get into AR, check out some of these great software development kits (SDK).
Interactive Virtual Reality
“Virtual reality (VR) is a computer-generated scenario that simulates a realistic experience.”- Wikipedia
More About VR
One exciting promise is that Google recently published an article inviting developers to sign up for early access to development kits for ad experiences on their VR platform. VR headsets have yet to expand beyond niche gaming and entertainment experiences so it’s tough to imagine VR advertising expanding beyond these areas in the short term. Until mass consumer adoption of VR tech becomes common, advertisers in this field will be limited. Brands will need to spend big to be the first to market. The competition in VR is fierce, check out a lineup of the top headsets here. The most immersive home VR kits are quite expensive, but you can experiment with the tech for under 100 or by utilizing your smartphone.
One of the biggest advantages of using these technologies is there ability to transport the user to a specific destination. Any location-specific business can showcase their space to entice the buyer. The other clear advantage is utilizing the technology to create a meaningful engaging experience where traditional media fails. People won’t passively watch ads; they’ll play with them. If someone straps on a headset, you have their full attention and they can’t easily click away. Their eyes are captive to your ad. This is a double-edged sword however because an unpleasant experience is made that much worse. Consumers demand an impressive experience. Will viewers want to continue watching beyond the initial “That’s cool” moment? Make sure you have a compelling hook that will keep them engaged.
“According to a recent report from Forrester, developing a single 360 video ad can cost in the tens of thousands; developing a fully interactive ad could cost upwards of $500,000.” – wired
That’s too steep of a cost for most brands to consider. In the entertainment industry, watching a two-plus hour movie with a pair of goggles on doesn’t actually offer an improved viewer experience.
2018 will be a race to see which company produces the leading home virtual reality system at an affordable rate, with great entertainment experiences. Easy to use development workflows and robust advertising options will also assure success. We can look to the future for an immersive ad experience where consumers should be able to pick up the product, examine it from all sides and try a virtual version of it.
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