Already known for colorful advertising campaigns dating back to the brand’s 1971 inception, Fruity Pebbles certainly isn’t straying from its winning marketing formula. But the breakfast cereal’s advertising efforts are now extending well beyond bedrock advertising channels and into the fruitful realm of virtual reality.
Post and VirtualSKY, a revolutionary virtual reality ad network, are launching the largest targeted interstitial ad campaign ever this week with the introduction of an immersive 30-second pre-roll spot as part of the brand’s “Yabba Dabba Doo” campaign.
A pioneer in VR advertising for the mobile age, VirtualSKY’s platform offers ad experiences that play when a consumer launches VR content inside of a virtual reality headset.
According to the VR advertising innovators, VirtualSKY makes possible advertising that envelops users with sight and sound from every direction, allowing for “an unmissable and completely engulfing experience.”
Post says the campaign is running on all major VR platforms — including Google Cardboard, HTC Vive and Oculus.
“Whereas many 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 Victoria Moran of AdAge.
In addition to creating original and highly entertaining advertising experiences, aspiring VR marketers like the folks at Post are also keen to exploit the measurable engagement potential of virtual reality advertising campaigns.
In the “Yabba Dabba Doo” campaign, users must be wearing a VR headset before the pre-roll content can launch, ensuring an exceptionally focused audience.
Fortunately for Post, eliminating concerns of ad viewability is VirtualSKY’s forte and a paramount reason why the platform is now a top destination for advertisers looking to test the waters of virtual reality.
VirtualSKY uses what’s called “heat mapping” technology that records exactly where in a VR ad viewers are looking at a given time, allowing publishers to utilize the data going forward.
“Never before has any advertisement actually been able to measure 100% exactly where everyone is looking at the app,” Cameron Peebles, Chief Marketing Officer at VirtualSKY, told AdAge. “So you can measure overall effectiveness and optimize your content by changing it.”
And contrary to many mobile advertising experiences on smartphones and tablets, VR ads are demonstrating their potential to complement user experiences, not interrupt them.
VirtualSKY’s Experience Ads, for example, are 10-30 second, 360 degree experiences that “launch at natural breaks in VR content, such as in-between game levels.” Similar to full length commercials, the company asserts that these longer experiences “are able to tell full stories and completely immerse the consumer in the brand’s world.”
With distinct and compelling advantages inherent for both consumers and advertisers, the future of VR marketing is finally becoming too bright for even long-time VR advertising naysayers to ignore.
“TV, the Internet, and mobile have all radically changed how brands connect and engage with consumers,” noted veteran entrepreneur Alex Debelov in a VentureBeat op-ed earlier this year. “VR is the next major platform to shatter advertising norms, dramatically changing how brands and advertisers connect and empathize with consumers. Some consider VR to be the ‘final frontier’ of mediums because any subsequent medium can be invented within VR.”
To check out Post’s inaugural effort at consumer immersion, the PEBBLES 360 video is available now to watch online here.