Paid Media and Virtual Reality: What Does the Future Hold?

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Sophie Monks

Senior Social Specialist

It’s 2016 and the dawn of VR. So, we thought it important to put in our two cents and discuss our predictions for its future in our industry.

Virtual Reality and Marketing: A Match Made in Heaven?

With large companies such as Sony, Facebook, and HTTC all launching their first range of VR headsets many other companies are looking to see how they can keep one step ahead of the competition and start promoting their goods or services through VR.
Some experts are even claiming that the launch of VR could be so influential that it will cause a cultural shift similar to the internet becoming accessible at home during the mid-90s.

What Opportunities Can We Expect from VR in the Near Future?

The first thing people are going to associate with VR in 2016 is video gaming. These games can be described as immersive, visually stunning, realistic, memorable and unique. So, it’s up to marketers to take these same principals when launching their new VR marketing campaigns.
Imagine if you were a part of a TV advert. That’s what major brands, such as Coca-cola and McDonalds, are trying to achieve with their immersive, VR campaigns.
For Christmas 2015 Coca-Cola launched their interactive Santa Sleigh ride on Oculus rift.

Not to be out done, McDonalds used happy meal boxes to release their own version of Google Cardboard, which came with a free Google android game.

These promotions are obviously in the early stages of VR’s life cycle, but imagine a time when you could use Google search through VR. These newly announced image ads could be produced in 3D or you may be able to view products in Google Shopping in 360 degrees.
Early reports suggest that this is Google’s plan, as they are currently developing a Chrome browser specifically for VR. They have also recently announced a new VR platform called Daydream, which has a number of free apps and games? Of course, with those apps come ads. Below is a preview of the platform.

With reports that Google might be working on Google Glass 2, could we see a mix of VR within everyday glasses in the near future? The results could be quite interesting.

What Does the Future Relationship Between VR and Marketing Hold?

So, as a PPC marketer, how do I envision the role changing? Well, in the short it won’t change soon, but perhaps in 15 to 20 years it will be completely VR.
Xbox has already used their Kinect software to show a user how a certain piece of clothing might look. This idea could be incorporated into a 3D Google shopping experience. And Marriot hotels are offering 360 tours of their key locations through VR. This technology could be incorporated into 3D Google image ad extensions.
We’ve even taken advantage of the new Facebook feature to create 360° panoramic images. Check them out on our Facebook here.
The possibilities are endless and I’m sure someone in Google is planning a number of new innovative things that we haven’t even thought of.
So, whatever the future holds, I’m sure it will be exciting. And I hope that VR takes off in a big way like people are predicating it to and not just become another gimmick.

(image: Google VR Twitter)

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Sophie Monks

Senior Social Specialist

Sophie has over 6 years of experience in the social media and content space, working in both in-house organisations and agencies. She has worked with exciting established brands in her time such as Campari, Aperol Spritz, Oppo Ice Cream and PayPal Australia. She enjoys the content creation process – from mapping out the shot and…

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