Research: virtual reality shows strong potential

YuMe, the global audience technology company powered by data-driven insights and multi-screen expertise, and Nielsen, has released a neuroscience-informed research report demonstrating how the unique power of virtual reality (VR) platforms present marketers with incredible potential. It also reinforced the need to align content with the right platform to produce optimal consumer engagement.

The research featured content from an entertainment advertiser and the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority (LVCVA). Consumers experienced the content, which was originally 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. But it also reinforced the challenges in connecting consumers with key branding moments in a platform that can encourage self-driven discovery. The report offers practical advice for advertisers and media companies who are looking to incorporate new immersive and experiential ad formats into 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, Vice President, Corporate Marketing, 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.”

Key findings of the study include:

  • With content optimised for the platform, VR can deliver higher emotional engagement than flat environments, including 2D and 360-degree experiences
  • Immersive content in VR and 360-degree experiences needs to balance freedom of exploration and flow to convey the narrative
  • VR requires a new breed of content directors

Additional details regarding the research can be found here.