Hulu knows you’re binge-watching, and now they want to take that experience to virtual reality as well. If that wasn’t enough, it’ll be ad-supported, opening a whole new avenue for brands to interact with that highly engaging video content. But Hulu’s not the only one using VR and AR to create new opportunities to interact with customers. Ebay’s pretty much basing their future on the idea. Plus if catching Pokemon has never been your bag, Niantic will have a new opportunity for you next year in Harry Potter: Wizards Unite. There’s few details, but the Ingress-based game’s yet another unique way to interact with a brand people know and love through AR.
Your full rundown of VR/AR brand and advertising happenings are below. See anything else we need to include? Let us know.
Hulu has enlisted two marketers to sponsor a new virtual-reality offering it expects to launch next year. As users watch “Door No. 1,” a story about a high-school class’ ten-year reunion, they will be able to choose the way the plot unfolds. And as part of the story, they will see Nissan and the dating-app Bumble show up in the storylines, says Nicole Sabatini, vice president of integrated marketing at Hulu.
Ebay’s fortunes started to decline in the mid 2000s as growth in the online auction industry slowed and as Amazon tightened its grip on non-auction sales. In recent years, Ebay has tried to become relevant again by shifting away from the auction model and luring sellers of unique products not found on Amazon, with more favorable terms. Virtual reality and augmented reality is a key component in that shift, says eBay’s Chief Product Architect, Steve Yankovich.
AR works effectively in that it blurs the line between an imagined world and the reality. Unlike in VR, where you’re in a completely new environment, AR makes your surrounding better. Remember Lacoste’s AR app of 2014, which allowed users to try out looks and share them on Facebook and Twitter? If brands could venture into offering consumers such experiences on social, purchases are guaranteed to increase—not only because someone was looking forward to buying, but because they stumbled upon it and had the money to spend.
According to Niantic, Harry Potter: Wizards Unite will be influenced by Niantic’s cult classic game Ingress, which allows people to collect boosts, defend locations, and explore their environment, mixing the real world and the digital. In Wizards Unite, players will fight “legendary beasts and team up with others to take down powerful enemies,” which we can assume to be Death Eaters and Lord Voldemort. Harry Potter’s magical elements mixing in with the Muggle world is already a theme in the books and movies, so we can expect to see that reappear now in AR form.
Brands that understand the possibilities of AR are developing apps that will allow them to create their own social media platforms. This is an opportunity to direct the course of their marketing without third-party influences. While utilizing marketing on popular social media platforms, you’re competing with every other business. Why not be your own social media to a captivated audience?
Starting today, advertisers can add Context Cards to their lenses and filters for free, providing users more information about the lenses and filters they play with. Users can swipe up on any friend’s snap that includes a sponsored lens or filter and open up the linked website URL without leaving Snapchat. But more importantly, Context Cards let advertisers directly track their ROI (return on investment).
For advertising to work, advertisers need to understand if their adverts are working. Existing models use units such as click through rates and view completions, allowing advertisers to test and measure their marketing strategies and tactics. The identification and structuring of these previously unknown measurements are what caused digital advertising to boom in the first place. But VR/AR environments don’t lend themselves to the types of interactions that these measurements are based on — at least not if the experience is to remain as engaging as possible.