New York -- The notion of virtual reality moving to the mainstream will happen sooner than many might figure, said multiple panelists at the "Is VR the New Super Bowl Spot?," and marketers are wise to get on board sooner rather than later. Alban Denoyel, founder and CEO of Sketchfab, said the tipping point will happen in around 18 months, when user-generated VR content is more common.
Ryan Pulliam, cofounder and CMO at Specular, noted how eight major companies are set to release VR headsets. "I think it’s a lot sooner than people think," she said.
For his part, Adam Harter, VP of marketing--cultural connections, Pepsi Beverages NA, described an "avalanche" when user-generated VR is more widespread, and when content producers create episodic VR programming for binge consumption.
VR was described as potential gold for marketers, when they can virtually put Los Angeles Lakers fans in a front row seat, next to Jack Nicholson, or slip a would-be Prius buyer into the driver’s seat of a car. "For us, this a medium we can’t ignore," said Doug Coleman, national vehicle marketing and communications manager--advanced technology vehicles, Toyota Motor Sales USA. "All automakers are trying to figure out how to get people into their cars without getting them into cars."
If major brands are not poking around in the VR game, he added, "We’re in trouble."