Nowadays, many users are very savvy of how to avoid advertisements. More than 9 million Brits use Adblock in their own personal browsing, with the highest level of advertisement blocking among the 18 to 24 year old age group, and the lowest in the 45 to 54 year old group. The challenge in putting branding and advertising onto products, and into virtual reality experiences, needs to learn from this to keep itself effective.
When running a virtual reality event at your booth, the key is to keep it streamlined, unobtrusive to the experience you are showing. Integrating it into the world around it will help people feel more like they are a part of a story, and less like they are being sold a product. This helps build consumer trust, and makes them feel more valued as part of the exchange.
Key points to consider with VR branding and advertising are:
If you are using VR to draw in an audience, and not to directly sell the product, you could introduce product placement in the centre of the experience. Changing the branding visible on a virtual race track is a popular choice, as it does not distract from the main event but gives a streamlined experience, and exposure to, the product or brand in question.
Consider what it is you are advertising, and how to put it into a virtual space. If you are focusing on selling an experience, let the experience talk for itself and have the branding be an external part of the event. You could include it on the headsets and throughout the halls rather than directly in the virtual event itself.
Including branding on the headsets itself is a good way to passively advertise a product alongside VR experiences at events. Branding is easy to put onto most commercially available headsets, such as the Oculus Rift and HTC Vive.
Google Cardboard has a distinct advantage when it comes to events, in that it is easy to print advertisements and branding right onto the packaging. It is also a cheap way to instantly have your brand shown by others, both during and after the event. Your attendees can take home these branded products to remind them of your company after the event is done.
Augmented reality can also be used to great effect for branding purposes. Setting up QR codes that react with an AR app or headset can then give an interactive, or even treasure hunting, element to what could otherwise be a mundane experience. You could even turn it into a game with your attendees, offering prizes to those who find all the hidden adverts around an exhibition centre.