As if we didn’t already think Internet Marketing was an ever-changing landscape, the reality of new realities is upon us. Augmented and Virtual Realities are two of the hottest innovations in the world of user interaction with the web.
Augment Reality is that place we go to merge our fantasies with the real world. It is the combination of the actual space in which you live with computer-generated imagery, sounds, and activities. For those in tune with films, you have early examples of augmented reality in films like Anchors Away (with Gene Kelly dancing with an animated Jerry, the mouse), Mary Poppins (cartoon birds and sheep supplement the songs performed by Julie Andrews and Dick Van Dyke), and of course every CGI enhanced movie of the last 2 decades. The obvious examples in today’s world include the recent phenomenon of Pokemon Go, where users play interactively with their smart devices, chasing CGI characters across real streets and landscapes.
Virtual Reality translates the augmentation from simply visual to psychological. The reality created in the VR world replaces the real world with a 3 dimensional (and quite frankly 4D) “world”. Whether an actual Earth-bound location into which the user of VR is thrown, or a completely fictional place where the VR viewer is transported, the experience is the same – you feel yourself removed from your physical location into the new world.
The challenge for Internet Marketers in utilizing these new realities is how to best play WITH the user’s experience, instead of interrupting it. Because one thing that years of 2 dimensional Internet advertising has shown; you will lose your audience if the user experience they desire is muddled, confused, or hampered by your advertising. Native content is the direct result of learning that interruptive popup content might work for some, but for the most part it turned off users more than converted them to sales. The same can be said for the use of display advertising in lieu of banner ads and other in-your-face web ads.
So Internet Marketers are going to have to work directly with the geeks and artists who generate the augmented and virtual worlds of these new realities. Creatives were always a byproduct of advertising goals – the artists and copywriters worked behind the lead of the ad creators. The coming age of advertising within augmented and virtual worlds will require teams of designers, coders, and marketers to produce materials that are both playful and engaging.
It is the reality of new realities.