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While digital advertising is growing, it’s also considered annoying to many. A host of marketers and associations are working on ways to avoid user ad blocking by making digital ads more helpful, more successful, and less invasive.

But for many industry players, the big opportunity on the horizon is virtual reality.

“Facebook, Samsung, Microsoft and Google, among others, are all betting big on virtual reality and/or augmented reality becoming the next big platform,” reports Ginny Marvin in MarketingLand. “With its predicted rise, virtual reality/augmented reality is also poised to transform digital advertising. Several companies are aiming to be ahead of the curve.”

Marvin discusses Immersv’s ad platform, which enables VR app developers to monetize content with ads on Google Cardboard and Samsung’s Gear VR devices.

“The Los Angeles-based company launched the platform in March with app-install ads from other VR app developers,” notes Marvin. “The ads serve in custom VR environments and can display as 3-D video, flat 2-D video, 360-degree videos or as true VR ad experiences that users can virtually enter and explore.”

Airpush, which officially launched its virtual reality mobile advertising network called VirtualSKY earlier this year at Mobile World Congress 2016, is also in the camp betting on VR’s continued growth.  That optimism was the impetus for the creation of VirtualSKY, which enables what the Airpush team calls “quality, high-res advertising experiences to be seamlessly integrated into VR content with little or no disruption to the user experience.”

Immersv, Google, Facebook, Airpush, Samung and others are staying entrenched on the front lines of the virtual reality advertising sector, ready to ride out any rough patches that may lie ahead until the age of VR advertising arrives in full. Right there with them is LA-based Outlyer Technologies, whose Advrtas ad platform from allows advertisers to serve interactive content in standard IAB ad formats on smartphones.

“The ads can also be viewed in any browser and respond to phone movement to let users explore the ad content and click on hot spots to “enter” new spaces,” according to Marvin.

“We believe the VR market is moving a bit faster than we thought it would,” said Mihir Shah, co-founder and CEO of Immersv. “We expect Q4 to be when it breaks out. Google Cardboard is by far the biggest driver. There’s no comparison in terms of volume at this point. Some days have seven figure daily active users (DAUs) and it’s doubling every quarter on Cardboard.”

Robert Bruza, CEO of Outlyer Technologies, thinks VR/AR gives the market an opportunity to reset digital advertising.

“We came into this because of how paltry the digital ad experience is. It’s almost embarrassing. We do look at this as a moment where there’s going to be a major shift,” Bruza suggests. “VR can break the boundary of the classic ad container. It can provide ubiquitous engagement in which you don’t even realize you’re consuming ad content. We see a directional shift — a higher end in personalization and engagement, but also a shift from push to pull driven by the consumer.”

In other words, many of the players think VR/AR have the potential to take digital advertising from “ho hum” to “Honey, look at this!”

“For the first time in my career, advertising is actually getting cool,” said Shah. “We might finally get to a spot to where consumers will want to experience the ads.”

You can read more about it here.

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