With heavyweight brands like Pepsi, Volvo and Disney apparently convinced that virtual reality advertising holds enormous potential for engaging with consumers in new and highly captivating ways, some ad industry analysts now believe that it’s only a matter of time before the VR ad space explodes as a major growth market for 2017 and beyond.
Of course, not all brands and not every product is currently a fit for VR.
According to the Financial Times, Pepsi is pushing the Mountain Dew brand into VR because “it is closely associated with sports such as Nascar racing and is popular among gamers.”
“You have to find the right story that makes sense to tell in VR,” Sadira Furlow, a senior marketing director at Mountain Dew, tells the FT. “Technology should never be used for the sake of technology.”
But advertisers are exploring the technology at a hastened pace with broad interest to see what works. And because of expanding opportunities in the space, it’s getting easier and more cost effective to experiment.
Earlier this year at MWC, for example, U.S.-based mobile advertising company Airpush officially launched its virtual reality mobile ad network VirtualSKY. With the debut of VirtualSKY, the power of VR became more accessible to the advertising community.
Cameron V. Peebles, Head of Global Marketing for VirtualSKY and Airpush, said in Barcelona that while everyone from Google to Facebook has generated opportunities for more widespread VR content development, we haven’t seen any real monetization or advertising capabilities. VirtualSKY was created and launched to address that need.
And with more content developers and advertisers than ever now exploring the opportunities afforded by VR, the virtual reality advertising rush could continue and escalate as the year progresses.
“Albeit from a small base, the VR consumer economy is thriving,” the FT said today, quoting the latest data from Deloitte, which forecasts that sales of VR products will likely top $1 billion in 2016.