The first study of brand recall in VR

Brands have an unprecedented opportunity to utilize virtual and augmented reality to drive incredible business results. To study this, we partnered with YuMe, Isobar and RetinAd to measure brand recall and biometric response to people playing our game, Kiss or Kill.

Read on to learn about the most effective ways to use ads in VR.

REDWOOD CITY, Calif.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–YuMe, Inc. (NYSE: YUME), a proven partner for video advertising leadership and innovation, in partnership with Isobar, a global digital agency; RLTY CHK, an immersive entertainment studio; and RetinadVR, the leading immersive media analytics platform, today released the results of a new virtual reality (VR) in-game advertising study. The study compared consumer responses to three forms of VR advertising — a pre-roll video ad, brand logos present in-game and 3D branded objects inserted into interactive game play. The findings revealed that, overall, VR advertising is highly memorable with 70% aided recall across all ad formats. The highest levels of brand recall occurred with the pre-roll video ad, which achieved 90% aided recall on the day the study was conducted.

As brands continue to identify the most impactful video advertising formats, the report also offers insights about which ad format elicits the strongest emotional response, identified through Isobar’s proprietary VR analytics and measurement platform. Isobar found that pre-roll video within a VR experience is associated with a stronger emotional response (both higher emotional arousal and more positive emotional valence). Generally, stronger emotional response levels make advertising more memorable, as is often evidenced by correlating with higher recall.

“We believe our study indicates that VR advertising is highly memorable in any format. It’s encouraging to see that a video ad, the most familiar and high-performing digital format, also delivers the highest rate of ad recall in the VR world,” said Mireya Arteaga, Research Lead, YuMe. “We believe immersive advertising is on the rise. Its ability to deliver a compelling branded-content message that is interactive, engaging and offers consumers the ability to own their ad experience is very attractive to today’s advertisers.”

Key takeaways from the study include:

  • VR advertising in-game is memorable across all ad formats studied (video ad, in-game logo, 3D interactive product placement)
  • 70% of respondents reported same-day aided recall
  • 26% of respondents reported seeing a brand in a virtual world is more memorable than a digital video ad
  • VR advertising in-game is less intrusive and well-integrated
  • 74% of respondents reported the virtual ad experience less intrusive than normal digital advertising
  • 69% of respondents reported the ad was well-integrated
  • Brand recall in VR gaming is high across all ad formats but only video maintains high ad recall the next day
  • Logos only:
  • Aided same day 67%
  • Aided next day 50%
  • Pre-roll only:
  • Aided same day 90%
  • Aided next day 86%
  • 3D object only:
  • Aided same day 50%
  • Aided next day 25%
  • Multiplayer VR games deliver high emotional engagement, that present advertising opportunities and challenges
  • Skin conductance measures show a level of emotional arousal three to four times higher than the average for 2D video content.
  • This presents both an opportunity and challenge for VR advertisers. To the degree that high emotional engagement can be transferred to the advertised brand, there is strong opportunity to deliver a memorable ad with high recall. The marketing challenge is getting the ad unit to be noticed within the context of highly engaging game play.

“We believe the strong emotional engagement of VR gaming provides a great context for placing advertisements,” said Jeremy Pincus, Ph.D., Vice President at Isobar. “We see strong emotional engagement in both the overall experience and during exposure to each of the ad units, as measured through multiple biometric channels, including brain waves, facial muscle contractions, skin conductance, and heart rate changes.”

“By combining our immersive VR game show format with strategically-placed ads, both players and brands can win,” said Nick Robinson, CEO, RLTYCHK. “VR enables marketers and developers to reimagine brand experiences, and the positive recall metrics show how effective VR can be in engaging audiences.”

Alexander Haque, CEO of Retinad Analytics added, “VR and AR, while nascent marketing platforms, can help brands effectively tell a story to their customers, helping them connect with their consumers and keep their name top-of-mind. This study demonstrates the potential effectiveness of in-game VR advertising and how brands should approach this medium.”

Additional insights from the VR advertising study can be found within YuMe’s report, companion video and infographic here. Learn more about Isobar’s measurement platform here. In addition, a free webinar on the research findings entitled, “Transforming a Virtual Ad Experience into a Real World Memory,” is scheduled for Tuesday, October 24 at 10 am PT. To RSVP, click here.

Study Background

In conducting the VR advertising study, a total of 54 participants based in San Francisco, California were recruited to play “Kiss or Kill,” an immersive VR game show created by RLTY CHK, with CPG advertising included in three formats: video, branded logo in-game insertions and 3D branded objects included in interactive game play. Participants were monitored during game-play by Isobar to collect key emotional response data. Immediately after the game, and again 24 hours later, participants were surveyed by YuMe to measure ad recall and understand consumer response to the various forms of VR advertising they were exposed to. RetinadVR audited and provided input to the survey methodology, study execution, and the data analysis.