If you have been following the news out of the Game Developer's Conference (GDC), you probably already know what we're about to discuss. For the many other readers, the fact is that virtual reality (VR) gaming is nearly a possibility for the mass market.
Only one notable company was pioneering the field. Now, after the GDC the rumors were finally answered; a big player made VR a lot more serious.
The first player created a console called Oculus Rift, and it has been gaining a lot of news and steam for uses from casual gaming to education. The big news is that Sony finally released its prototype for VR, Project Morpheus. Its sleek design is going head-to-head with this bound-to-be-popular medium.
Our question is: how can AdLand get a taste?
The most popular way brands and agencies have tackled gaming is through product placement and sponsorships. Whether the people in the game were wearing designer shirts, or the games within the games had some kind of branded content, defraying the costs of the games through advertising has been a popular model.
And with VR, the opportunity to be engaging is extremely tantalizing.
Of course, there is the whole "chicken or the egg" thing. Does AdLand help VR get on its feet through associating dollars and partnerships before things hit it big, or do we wait until there is an audience first, and then jump in, facing paying a possible premium?
There seems to be no wrong answer, but only a preference in strategy.
If the markets your brand is in seem to be getting saturated, do not overlook the power of gaming. The "casual gamer" is one of the largest, most diverse populations a marketer can dream of. Knowing what kind of games attract which type of gamer will improve the engagement.
And if it is all in VR? It looks like it'll be a playday for all of us.
Dwayne W. Waite Jr. is partner and principal at JDW: The Charlotte Agency, a marketing and advertising shop in Charlotte, NC. He enjoys consumer behavior, economics, and football.
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