Ads Coming to VR Next Year

One of the benefits of being around Silicon Valley is hearing about new trends in media before they a happen. Although advertisers already know about virtual reality, they are only using it now in limited ways compared to how it will be used next year when Apple unveils its VR program, which is expected to include glasses and a new iPhone that will be VR ready.  Experts agree that Apple’s iPhone 8 will sell more VR than all others combined.

In the mean time, if you are hoping to launch something in VR with Apple, those same experts suggest developing for the HTC Vive, which is available now and is the de facto development environment for the Vive. For those of you who are technicians, or have them, available to you, build in Unity 3D software for the Vive and it will port to what Apple is doing in iPhone 8.

Another option is to build for Oculus Rift, which is also available now. And if you aren’t even playing with VR, you will be too late. Android will take off when Apple does.

Remember, Apple is amazingly secretive. However Robert Scoble, who knows everything before anyone else because he travels around the world looking at new technology, says “remember, next year’s iPhone announcements will be the 10th anniversary of the iPhone and also the first it’ll do in its new headquarters. This is VERY important for Tim Cook. Probably the most important introductions of his life.”

In the meantime, there is already one company, Virtual Sky , that promises to deliver targeted, immersive advertising at scale on all virtual reality platforms. Post Fruity Pebbles launched a VR campaign on Virtual sky last summer, in an immersive 360 degree preroll spot that takes the viewer through a series of colorful, vibrant activities like painting a mural and jamming with a garage band.

Past VR experiences

drop the user into an environment and let them explore” for an unlimited amount of time, Pebbles created an edited ad featuring 360 visuals, according to Brian Hurley, creative lead at agency Public Works. Few other brands have limited themselves to shorter VR ads in order to complement users’ real-life experiences, Mr. Hurley claimed.

It’s too soon to know whether consumers will accept advertising in the midst of a true VR experience, but here’s what we know now: ad blockers don’t exist for virtual reality yet, so we have a chance to do it right.