How Consumers Think Brands Can Use Virtual Reality For Marketing

January 17, 2017

This article is included in these additional categories:

Content Marketing | Creative & Formats | Digital | Non-mobile Connected Devices | Technology

Despite a high degree of interest in using virtual reality to watch movies, there’s not much interest on the part of consumers when it comes to brands and advertisers using virtual reality (VR) to provide exclusive content and trailers, finds YuMe [download page] in a survey of more than 800 adults aged 18-54. But, there’s reason to believe that virtual reality can be used effectively to demo products.

Indeed, about 4 in 10 respondents said they’d be interested in seeing brands and advertisers use virtual reality to demo products before purchase. Likewise, more than one-third said they’d be interested in how-to and DIY instructions from brands using virtual reality.

Beyond that, though, only around one-quarter or fewer show much interest in new shopping experiences, immersive VR experiences instead of ads, or rewards for engaging with VR content.

Even so, results from the report suggest that consumer receptiveness to these types of VR applications could increase once they’ve tried them. Separately, the study found that respondents who had experienced immersive technologies were more likely to view brands’ use of them positively than the average respondent.

For example, among those who had tried any type of virtual reality (including augmented reality and/or 360 degree video), 60% said that brands’ use of VR creates a positive view of them. That compares with 43% of the entire sample who felt that way.

Similar discrepancies were identified for other attitudes, such as the likelihood of paying more attention when video is 360 degrees and the increased likelihood of engaging with an ad if it was in 360-degree video.

Those results bring to mind earlier research from Nielsen in which about half of consumers found VR more likable once they had tried it.

Overall, 86% of respondents reported having heard of at least one of the immersive technologies listed (virtual reality, augmented reality and 360 video), with 29% having tried one. Previous research from Frank N. Magid Associates (reported here by Cablefax) indicates that more than 4 in 10 consumers aged 8-64 are interested in virtual reality, while a recent study from IAB suggests that 1 in 10 adults owns a VR headset.

About the Data: The YuMe study results are based on a survey of 811 US respondents aged 18-54.

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