360 Ad Formats (with Virtual Reality mode)… HERE TODAY!

IAB The Business of Digital Header

Recently, I was fortunate to travel to Toronto with our CEO, Robert Bruza, to participate and present at IAB Canada’s Business of Digital Seminar Series. The topic for the event pertained to the marketing and advertising implications of 360 degree content, virtual reality, augmented reality and mixed reality. The task of presenters, such as ourselves, AOL, PwC, INDE, Entertainment One, Secret Location and others was to present the audience with key takeaways as to how these technologies can be leveraged to engage consumers with immersive experiences.

There was no shortage of optimism surrounding the platforms. From folks who had created content, whether for 360, VR or AR to those who had experienced elaborate VR installations created by those brands bold enough to experiment, it was apparent that most, if not all, recognized that these technologies will most certainly find themselves securely planted in the marketing and advertising strategy playbooks.  

The stats that were served up by presenters certainly seemed to corroborate these sentiments. There was a bevy of interesting numbers provided by PwC’s Jeremy Dalton, INDE’s Nigel Newton and IAB Canada’s very own Steve Rosenblum, supporting that these technologies are not only here to stay but that over the course of the next 3-5 years they’ll all experience tremendous growth.  Some of the figures presented include:

  • VR/AR projected to be $80 – $150 billion industry by 2020
  • 110 million VR head mounted displays to ship in 2020
  • 360 ads on mobile are generating 85% ad engagement
  • Only 12% of survey respondents have used VR as marketing communications tool (still room for that first mover advantage!)
  • >40% of marketers plan to experiment with VR and/or AR in the future

These numbers, and others presented, were both encouraging and perplexing. While it’s certainly reassuring to see stats supporting industry growth, as someone who lives and breathes this stuff everyday, it was also frustrating to see that people don’t realize that they can start leveraging 360 degree and virtual content for advertising at scale today! In fact, there’s still a sizable group of marketers that still perceive VR as too niche. However, if you view VR as too niche you do so at your own peril.

Is an Audience >2Billion Too Niche?

What if I told you that the real reach for 360 degree ads with one-touch virtual reality mode is greater than 2 billion? Would you consider that acceptable reach? The truth is that just about any smartphone (Android and iOS) along with just about any modern tablet or desktop computer is capable of displaying 360 degree ad formats. Why? Because companies like the one I work for have figured out how to get 360 degree content with one-touch virtual reality mode into digital display and native ad units. The ad content can be 360 degree video, 360 degree or panoramic still images, CG imagery, 2D assets or an assortment of all of the above.

IAB VR/AR Panel with Advrtas CEO and VP of Marketing

  • Eduardo

    Hello, nice article. I agree with your vision, there’re many opportunities in this market and the key, certainly, is to move quick.



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