The year was 1996, and it was a hot humid day in which I sat in front of a television that was airing The Real Adventures of Johny Quest. At 6 years of age, that was the best thing in my cartoon watching history that had ever happened to me. For two reasons; one, I had always fancied Jessie getting it on with Johnny, and most importantly… Quest World. That the first time when the concept of “Virtual Reality” hit me, a world where everything was possible, where if you wanted a weapon or drive a bike, all you had to do was ask for it, and voila, it was there right in front of you to use.
Here we are, 20 years later, on the cusp of immersive reality. Still new, and still not so polished, but immersive, yes that it is. It captivates your auditory and visual senses and teleports you to a different dimension, a different reality, but just those two senses, nothing more. Sure, there is the experimental Nosulus Rift for smell which is more of a promotional device, but who knows! VR body suits are in the making, and it’s only a matter of time before this becomes a full on booming ecosystem.
So what new opportunities will arise on looking this new medium? A new form of advertising maybe? Just imagine, you are playing a game or watching a music video, and all of a sudden it pauses, and there you are; fully immersed and “experiencing” an advertisement. How does that make you feel… Enraged? Impressed? Annoyed? Is it going to have an effect on your purchasing behavior? Of course it will, and it’s inevitable. As soon as Virtual Reality becomes common place instead of a novelty item, it’s going to change the way advertisers target consumers. They already know about our deepest fetishes, let alone what we search for in our darkest times. It may sound scary, but hey, we do accept the “terms and conditions” in a blink of an eye so there is no escaping from that any ways. So for the consumer it’s going to be a different medium, a better experience, but with more persuasive advertising.
We all can hardly wait.