Virtual reality is running wild at South By Southwest (SXSW) and Game Developers Conference (GDC), both of which are hosting huge showcases for the technology. Device makers such as Samsung, Oculus, HTC and Sony, are showing off headsets and the huge variety of experiences to be had with them. At the same time, developers are eager to take advantage of the emerging technology.
That said, while the technology is impressive, it isn’t quite winning over everyone, as some marketers are concerned as to how it will work. AOL’s digital prophet, David “Shingy” Shing (pictured above), recently penned a piece on Adweek about how some might have trouble adjusting to this “new world” of media, where there’s little room for the current advertising model as it stands.
Shing writes that most VR experiences will be presented without any sort of context for ads, which means certain companies will need to adjust when it comes to how they can still represent their product while following the lines set for the technology.
“Consumers will be blasting off to far-away planets that may not even have the atmosphere to support ads, and the industry’s concern is that this will leave a barren Tatooine-esque advertising wasteland . . . This shift challenges the thinking behind the entire industry and the current model of the relationship between brands, creative, media and platforms.”
However, in even in the face of a barren ad landscape, Shing still sees hope, and invites marketers to take the problem head-on. Immersive worlds “provide unique challenges to content creators, viewers and advertisers alike, and their radical newness is a bright light that exposes some of the most insidious faults in our industry . . . As marketers and advertisers, we must rise to this challenge. Experimentation must begin now to have a chance at being ready when consumers have lift-off.”
Some companies have gotten an interesting jump on marketing VR. McDonald’s, for instance, has introduced a Happy Meal box that transforms into a VR viewer (although it’s only available in Sweden right now).