×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Adobe Is Developing Advertising Solutions for Virtual Reality (EXCLUSIVE)

Adobe is starting to dip its toes in the water with regards to virtual reality advertising: The company is showing of a project for advertising in VR at the Mobile World Congress (MWC) in Barcelona this week.

The project is at this point only a prototype coming out of the company’s research labs, but Adobe Primetime Director of Product Management Campbell Foster told Variety during a recent interview that the company could deliver similar solutions to publishers within the next 6-12 months.

The project shown off at MWC was kick-started by Adobe Engineering Manager YS Shin during one of the company’s recent garage week events, which encourage employees to explore new ideas over the course of a few days.  It’s focused on theater-style viewing of 2-D videos in a VR environment, similar to the way Netflix, HBO and Hulu make their existing catalogs available on headsets like the Samsung Gear VR and Google’s Playstation View.

Adobe’s VR is a takeover of a theater-style 2-D movie. Courtesy of Adobe

A clip shown in this fashion is paused for an interstitial for Coca Cola, which takes over the entire theater, and displays a set of information cards that could be used to deliver additional information about the product, promise coupons or even tweet from within the app. At the end of the interstitial, the take-over gradually fades out again, making room for the video to continue.

Foster said that Adobe purposefully focused on this theater setting at first, as opposed to more immersive 360 or 3-D experiences. “With 360, it’s not clear what content is going to look like beyond gaming,” he said. He also said that Adobe wanted to focus on mobile VR because of availability issues, as opposed to higher-end headsets, or even augmented reality (AR) technologies. “For entertainment, VR is a lot more promising than AR,” he said.

The ad unit includes a set of information cards that could unlock coupons and more. Courtesy of Adobe

This isn’t Adobe’s first foray into virtual reality. The company also has VR initiatives as pat of its Creative Cloud unit, which focuses on content creation tools, and is now making it possible to edit VR video in Premiere Pro. And Adobe’s Document Cloud unit is working on bringing PDFs to VR.

The advertising project shown off this week is still in its early stages, but Foster said that it could eventually take advantage of many of the same features that Adobe today offers for traditional video advertising, including detailed analytics as well as the ability to target consumers and dynamically swap out content based on the viewer. “If it is someone under 21, don’t show the Budweiser ad,” he said.

Foster also said that these ad units could eventually also take viewers out of the theater setting and beam them into an even more immersive experience, only to teleport them back when the ad is over. “There is a lot of room for creativity with the format,” he said.

Adobe’s Primetime team, which is part of the company’s marketing Cloud unit, has been doubling down on video advertising as media playback and other areas that have long been mainstays of the company are increasingly getting commoditized. At the end of 2016, Adobe acquired video ad tech company Tubemogul for $540 million.

More Digital

  • BTF Media, Vince Gerardis Pact Sign

    NATPE: BTF Media, Vince Gerardis Pact for Six Projects (EXCLUSIVE)

    MIAMI — BTF Media, producer of breakout series “Hasta Que te Conocí” and “El Secreto de Selena,” is teaming with Vince Gerardis, a co-executive producer with George Martin on “Game of Thrones,” on a six-project co-production alliance. Spearheaded at BTF Media by founder-partner Ricardo Coeto, the agreement takes in the development and co-production of the [...]

  • Bob Bakish Variety Cover Story

    Viacom Has Acquired Pluto TV Streaming Service for $340M

    Viacom has acquired Los Angeles-based video streaming service Pluto TV for $340 million in cash, both companies confirmed Tuesday. “Today marks an important step forward in Viacom’s evolution, as we work to move both our company and the industry forward,” said Viacom CEO Bob Bakish in a statement. “Pluto TV’s unique and market-leading product, combined [...]

  • Bob PittmanVariety Entertainment Summit at CES,

    iHeartMedia Bankruptcy Plan Approved, CEO Bob Pittman's Contract Renewed

    A U.S. court has approved the bankruptcy plan of iHeartMedia, the biggest radio broadcaster in the U.S., which will shave down its crushing debt load and separate iHeartMedia from Clear Channel Outdoor Holdings. The company said chairman and CEO Bob Pittman and Rich Bressler, president, COO and CFO, have extended their contracts by four years. [...]

  • Instagram Logo

    Netflix Lets iOS Users Share Movies, Shows to Instagram Stories

    Netflix is tapping into Instagram Stories for some word-of-mouth promotion: The streaming video service rolled out a new Instagram integration Tuesday that allows iOS users to share their favorite movies and TV shows via Stories. To do so, users simply select the title of their choice within the Netflix iOS app, and then share it [...]

  • Brian Lockhart - ESPN+

    ESPN Hires NFL Media's Brian Lockhart to Head ESPN+ Original Content

    ESPN recruited Brian Lockhart, who has spent more than a decade at NFL Media, as executive producer of original content for the ESPN+ subscription-streaming service. Lockhart will oversee strategy and development for all ESPN+ original programming initiatives, including new projects as well as existing shows such as “Detail,” “More Than an Athlete,” “The Board Room,” [...]

  • Roma

    Netflix Joins the Motion Picture Association of America

    UPDATED WASHINGTON — Netflix has joined the Motion Picture Association of America, a move that reflects its evolution as a major player in the movie business. The MPAA currently has six major studios as members, and it collected about $38 million in membership dues in 2017, according to its most recent filing with the IRS. [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content