Study: VR ads deliver memorable brand experiences

YuMe, a partner for video advertising, in partnership with Isobar, a global digital agency; RLTY CHK, an immersive entertainment studio; and RetinadVR, an immersive media analytics platform, have released the results of a new virtual reality (VR) in-game advertising study. The study compared consumer responses to three forms of VR advertising — a pre-roll video ad, brand logos present in-game and 3D branded objects inserted into interactive game play. The findings revealed that, overall, VR advertising is highly memorable with 70 per cent aided recall across all ad formats. The highest levels of brand recall occurred with the pre-roll video ad, which achieved 90 per cent aided recall on the day the study was conducted.

As brands continue to identify the most impactful video advertising formats, the report also offers insights about which ad format elicits the strongest emotional response, identified through Isobar’s proprietary VR analytics and measurement platform. Isobar found that pre-roll video within a VR experience is associated with a stronger emotional response (both higher emotional arousal and more positive emotional valence). Generally, stronger emotional response levels make advertising more memorable, as is often evidenced by correlating with higher recall.

“We believe our study indicates that VR advertising is highly memorable in any format. It’s encouraging to see that a video ad, the most familiar and high-performing digital format, also delivers the highest rate of ad recall in the VR world,” said Mireya Arteaga, Research Lead, YuMe. “We believe immersive advertising is on the rise. Its ability to deliver a compelling branded-content message that is interactive, engaging and offers consumers the ability to own their ad experience is very attractive to today’s advertisers.”

Key takeaways from the study include:

  • VR advertising in-game is memorable across all ad formats studied (video ad, in-game logo, 3D interactive product placement)
    • 70 per cent of respondents reported same-day aided recall
    • 26 per cent of respondents reported seeing a brand in a virtual world is more memorable than a digital video ad
  • VR advertising in-game is less intrusive and well-integrated
    • 74 per cent of respondents reported the virtual ad experience less intrusive than normal digital advertising
    • 69 per cent of respondents reported the ad was well-integrated
  • Brand recall in VR gaming is high across all ad formats but only video maintains high ad recall the next day
    • Logos only:
      • Aided same day 67 per cent
      • Aided next day 50 per cent
    • Pre-roll only:
      • Aided same day 90 per cent
      • Aided next day 86 per cent
    • 3d object only:
      • Aided same day 50 per cent
      • Aided next day 25 per cent
  • Multiplayer VR games deliver high emotional engagement, that present advertising opportunities and challenges
    • Skin conductance measures show a level of emotional arousal three to four times higher than the average for 2D video content.
    • This presents both an opportunity and challenge for VR advertisers. To the degree that high emotional engagement can be transferred to the advertised brand, there is strong opportunity to deliver a memorable ad with high recall. The marketing challenge is getting the ad unit to be noticed within the context of highly engaging game play.

“We believe the strong emotional engagement of VR gaming provides a great context for placing advertisements,” said Jeremy Pincus, Ph.D., Vice President at Isobar. “We see strong emotional engagement in both the overall experience and during exposure to each of the ad units, as measured through multiple biometric channels, including brain waves, facial muscle contractions, skin conductance, and heart rate changes.”

“By combining our immersive VR game show format with strategically-placed ads, both players and brands can win,” said Nick Robinson, CEO, RLTY CHK. “VR enables marketers and developers to reimagine brand experiences, and the positive recall metrics show how effective VR can be in engaging audiences.”

Alexander Haque, CEO of Retinad Analytics added, “VR and AR, while nascent marketing platforms, can help brands effectively tell a story to their customers, helping them connect with their consumers and keep their name top-of-mind. This study demonstrates the potential effectiveness of in-game VR advertising and how brands should approach this medium.”

 

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