5. Bringing Programmatic Ads into VR
The virtual world within the confines of a VR headset is meant to transport you to new locations that simulate reality and provide an escape. As you walk down the streets of a virtual city (real or imagined) you’ll see commercial buildings, residential apartments, parked cars, store awnings, and of course, out-of-home advertisements (to add to the realism). Until now, the billboards on the sides of virtual buildings, on bus stop stations, on top of taxis are just generic graphics filing the space, but with new advances in technology they may not be generic for long. These virtual billboards are about to become real-life programmatic ads, targeted specifically to the users and continually optimized to garner the maximum amount of engagement within the virtual space. This is the ambition of virtual reality companies Oath and 360i, who recently partnered to promote National Geographic’s docu-drama “Mars” within VR environments. This will make it the first-ever programmatic VR campaign. Users will see the ads posted within the VR world as they would in the real world, and will be designed to be as immersive as the environment around the users. If this works, and as VR programming and adoption increases, programmatic ads within VR may attract more brands to advertise in virtual reality, the same way they do in the real-life. Are we seeing the dawn of a new virtual advertising world? We’ll have to see. A lot more people will need to get goggles before this technology can truly change the game.