“Ready Player One” Kills the Box Office, Virtual Reality Buzz is Back

Ready Player One has become a blockbuster hit over the past week since its release. In this fantasy thriller film, Steven Spielberg reimagines a world where virtual reality is more important than real life– and perhaps it is the fear that this might potentially become our reality which makes this movie so intriguing. From teenagers to influencers and celebrities, many individuals in today’s society have integrated social media and the internet into their lives to the point where it is almost prioritized over real life. Virtual reality headset gaming has been on the rise for years, so why couldn’t it be the next thing to truly take over our lives?

 

As virtual reality becomes more popular and normalized, advertisers should consider this as a new media platform. Just as advertising in video games has become a staple source, VR could also serve as an essential for media buyers before we know it. In Ready Player One, there were many nostalgic 80’s brands featured, which could be considered a form of advertising. The 80’s decade as a whole was a major theme throughout the movie, with references to Michael Jackson, King Kong, and Pac-Man.

 

Today’s current virtual reality headsets, such as Oculus Rift and HTC Vive, provide games that are more similar to Mario than real life; however, that doesn’t mean there are no advertising opportunities. Brands could create VR ad campaigns through native advertising and product placement. For brands that have fun and tangible products, product placements could work very well. If a company really wanted to dive in, they could even create their own VR game, centered in their unique universe. What if Pizza Hut made a pizza paradise or Baskin Robbins made an ice cream heaven? Customers would be craving those products in no time. If Ready Player One is any clue to what life will look like in 30 years, advertisers really need to step up their VR game.