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Forget Out of Home, Try Out of This World Advertising With VR

By Published on .

Most Popular

Imagine sitting next to a Coca-Cola polar bear in a movie theater.

Now, imagine flying through Times Square and all the ad screens are taken over by one brand.

Now, imagine a future-based video game, chasing through traffic, and a billboard up ahead is playing a commercial.

Whatever future is in store for advertising in the real world, virtual reality could be even further out there.

Adobe is taking its first baby steps into VR advertising by creating standardized banner and video ad formats that can be easily delivered into these alternate digital landscapes (see video above). On Wednesday, Adobe unveiled a new VR ad offering at a company conference in Las Vegas.

"VR is one more channel where we can do ad placement and support content creation," said Steve Hammond, Adobe Experience Cloud's senior director of customer success and product strategy.

Adobe helps brands manage ad campaigns across the digital marketplace -- social media feeds, websites, email and everywhere. It's trying to make virtual reality just another check of the box for brands.

Virtual reality is seen as a fruitful path to growth as more tech companies create software, devices hit the market and more content comes online. Still, it's not happening quickly enough for some, and there are always doubts about the long-term consumer interest in such an experimental technology.

Adobe thinks it can help spur the creation of more VR content by giving the creators an easier path to generate money from their work.

"There are natural places for ads to be placed in VR," Mr. Hammond said. "The scale and streamlined nature of what we're looking at is what's interesting."

For now, Adobe is working on bespoke deals with brands and VR publishers to prove the concept works and provide the creative examples. For instance, it can take a pedestrian into Las Vegas where billboards play the ads. It has created a virtual movie theater, where friends could enter from their respective locations, and Coca-Cola ads play ahead of the movie.

Mr. Hammond said that could evolve into even more creative options, with a polar bear sitting next to a viewer in the theater sipping on Coca-Cola.

"You don't want it to be in-your-face advertising," Mr. Hammond said. "You want it to be in the environment."