The following is a guest contributed post from Michael Brock of VRJounal.com.
From Pepsi pushing Mountain Dew through virtual reality, to leading breakfast cereal powerhouse Post captivating consumers with VR ads from VirtualSKY, the VR advertising revolution is here. And the latest data suggests that a good reason is behind the revolution. Indeed, VR ads are effective among consumers — and on a very profound level.
According to YuMe, Inc., a global audience technology company, and touted ratings firm Nielsen, virtual reality (VR) platforms offer marketers an amazing potential to provide immersive experiences that can elicit strong emotional engagement for brands.
The report, which builds on neuro-scientific insights, also suggests that content does need to be wedded to the right platforms to elicit optimal consumer engagement.
“The research featured content from an entertainment advertiser and the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority,” according to a provided report summary. “Consumers experienced the content, which originally was developed for highly immersive platforms, in three distinct environments – mobile VR, 360-degree video on a flat screen and flat, two-dimensional TV screens. Content on VR produced the highest emotional engagement, showcasing the rich, exploratory experiences that brands can develop.”
That’s not to say there aren’t significant challenges. The report also cited issues in connecting consumers with key branding moments; within the report are practical tips for advertisers and media companies considering new immersive and experiential ad formats for their campaigns.
“Advertisers need to artfully balance freedom of exploration and storyline flow in new immersive environments to deliver highly engaging viewer experiences,” said Stephanie Gaines, VP for Corporate Marketing at YuMe. “As an industry we’ve spent a lot of time deep in the conversations about virtual reality. Now is the time, however, to move from hype to action — and this report clearly shows the path to incorporating these powerful new formats.”
The report includes information gleaned from Nielsen’s biometric, eye-tracking, and behavioral coding technologies. It reveals that VR presented participants with the opportunity to play director, navigating through experiences in their own, unique ways — which “brands must understand to effectively divert attention to key branding moments, without interrupting the experience.”
Among the highlights from the research are:
- With content optimized for the platform, VR can deliver higher emotional engagement than flat environments, including 2D and 360-degree experiences.
- VR elicited 27 percent higher emotional engagement than in a 2D environment and 17 percent higher emotional engagement than a 360-degree video on a flat screen.
- VR viewers are emotionally engaged 34 percent longer than when they view the same content in 2D and 16 percent longer than when they view the same content in 360-degree video on a flat screen.
- Immersive content in VR and 360-degree experiences needs to balance freedom of exploration and flow to convey the narrative.
- Guided exploration is critical for brands to convey their message and leverage branding opportunities.
To learn more, check out the infographic below and peruse the full report here.