Peripheral ads: this will be advertising in virtual reality
One of the most promising potential uses of virtual reality for businesses is its use as advertising space. Until now, and since virtual reality is still in a pre-popularization state (although the reality of confinement could speed things up), everything is in a more theoretical than real phase. For brands, virtual reality will create immersive experiences and some pioneers are already using it. It can be turned into a gateway to create content marketing in a different way, to test products or to create much more memorable brand actions.
In the future, however, when virtual reality is more common and popular and when consumers are using it to access many more things, it will include advertisements, as do many other gateways of content and entertainment services.
If we have ads when we surf the net or when we watch television, it is to be hoped that we will also have them when we access virtual reality. The big question is what those ads will be like and what will make them different from what the market is already showing in other areas.
The patents that technology companies are beginning to file may serve to shed light on that mystery. Of course, patents are simply records of things that are possible, but do not necessarily have to become reality. Seeing what developers are focused on, yes, helps to outline what is really interesting.
Ads in the shadow zone
Sony Interactive Entertainment has just filed a patent in the United States for a virtual reality advertising format developed by one of its teams. Ads will use the ‘least visible’ area of the experience. That is to say, they will not cover the contents, but they will position themselves before the consumer, taking advantage of those areas that are currently wasted.
Ads are positioned to be viewed using our peripheral vision. As they explain in MeriStation, they would be positioned in that dark area that is seen when putting on virtual reality glasses and that right now is simply a wasted edge.
What interest is there in placing ads in an area where users pay little attention? Actually, the format is more complex. Initially, placing advertising in that area makes it much less annoying for the user and does not burden the experience. It should not be forgotten that consumers are already very fed up with ads, especially due to the bad experiences they had years ago with online advertising.
But, to continue, the ad adapts to what the consumer does and becomes more visible on certain occasions. The advertising format is able to follow the user’s gaze, so if it directs it to the edges, the ad becomes more visible and clearer. It becomes much more evident and much more remarkable.
This ability to follow the user’s gaze also opens many other possibilities. For example, advertising could change adjusting to what we are paying more attention to. The format reads what interests us and reinforces that message or what is similar to it.