We all eventually ask ourselves how free-to-play videogames work, they require technology, equipment, experienced people and even offices. Who pays for all of that? Well, money isn’t falling from the sky. These games usually have in-game purchasing or extra features for sale to make the game more amenable. But the ability to buy things in order to make a videogame easier, especially online videogames, is often criticized and referred as pay-to-win. Flo VR might involuntarily change that for good.
Flo Virtual Reality Wants to Monetize VR Content
What’s the other option? Buying a $60 game that you don’t know whether you’ll like it or not? That’s the standard, and let me tell you something, it doesn’t work, and sometimes you end up having a bad game and $60 less in your pocket. What could change things? What can learn the video game industry from the TV industry? Exactly, advertising.
Flo VR is a Canadian firm that introduces ads into virtual reality content, and this can have a major impact both in Virtual Reality and video games. Developers have now a new tool for making money out of their creations, companies have a broader and more immersive reach to their customers, and users are going to be able to enjoy free or cheaper content and get to know the sponsors in more interactive and fun ways.
We had the opportunity to interview the CEO and Founder of Flo VR Roger Perry and asked him some interesting questions so we can get to know better this new way of advertising:
Flo VR is proud to deliver brands and advertisers a new way of connecting with their customers while they experience the world of virtual reality with monetization of games and apps. Partner with developers to design 360 advertisements for the audience that you are searching for. No longer will ads be seen as a distraction, but a more challenging and engaging experience. Flo VR ads focus on rewarding users. From a recent survey taken, almost 80% of players confirmed they are open to engaging with video ads for in-game rewards. User conversion rates when rewards are involved are between 60 to 70%. And it’s very likely that the triple win for advertisers/game developers/publishers, along with the positive experience for players mentioned earlier, is the very reason rewarded video ads are growing in popularity.
How would in-game VR ads work, would they interrupt the game?
There are about 4 different options for us to integrate our ads into VR Games. Plus working on 2 new ad formats.
1. Pre-game 360 Ads: An immersive 360 degree experience ad will play before the game starts.
2. Gazed Base Ad: Icons, logos and branded content will be placed at various places throughout the VR game. This format is completely opt in. If a user decides to interact with the ad, they simply stare at the icon for 1 second and it will open up into a 360 Video ad. Following the 360 Video ad, the user will be rewarded with a product. So the icon could be a Gatorade bottle, 360 video would be an immersive Gatorade commercial, the users would then enter their email and a voucher will be sent to them to redeem their free reward. This is great and hits an experiential side of marketing similar to product sampling, only on a much larger and more efficient scale.
3. The Moment Ad: Similar to gazed base ads, however these ads are given when a user reaches a milestone in the game. I.e. a user reaches a new level in a game, we then reward them with a branded prize/gift.
4. Interactive Experience Ads: These In-game experiences are built buy Flo’s developers and designers. These ads allow users to control the ad/experience. For example the user may play a small mini game within the VR world, perhaps in a first person shooter game we’ll have them shoot at a branded target. If they hit the target on the first attempt they will receive a reward. This is just a basic example, we plan on evolving this ad format, and have some great plans for it.
Heat Mapping and Head Tracking
Our SDK is loaded and even includes Flo’s heat mapping and built in analytics platform which allows us to determine where users eyeballs are looking most in the game. This is great for brands and developers alike, as it tells us where the best locations are to place content. This will help in the game development process as it will tell developers where to
place certain elements based on viewership in their world. The analytics derived from our heat mapping feature will also help determine which ad formats are working best and also give our clients exact viewing times per ad. Head tracking analytics are able to tell us what emotions the users are feeling, whether they are happy and laughing or sad
and crying, which will allows us to determine the best time to offer them rewards. Choosing the right moment will play a major role in the delivery of our ads.
360 Content Production
Flo VR is a global leader in 360 content production, Unity environment builds, 3D modelling, 3D animation, and Interactive Web Gl content. Flo will work with brands to bring their VR stories to life in the most interactive and immersive way possible. Focusing on offering our clients a turnkey production, we take care of everything from Storyboarding to Rendering and everything in between. The initiative moving forward will be about synchronizing client’s current campaigns with Flo VR’s multi- level technology, to create an immersive, engaging, VR visual environment, where consumers can experience and connect with the brand and their products in a way that’s never been done before.
What’s the difference between 360 degree video ads and In-Game Interactive Reward Based Ads?
The difference is that 360 video ads are displaying straight 360 video, whereas in-game interactive ads are allowing the user to engage with the ad and become a part of the brand experience, plus users get rewarded with awesome prizes. It’s a win/win/win.
We are looking at the Samsung Gear platform and the Google Cardboard platform , both for Android and iOS – Casual gaming. We can integrate our ads in any game, the developer just has to want to monetize. One of the great thing’s about Flo is we working on a 50/ 50 revenue sharing partnership with all of our developer partners.
Would this feature be the beginning of a future VR media like TVs?
Most definitely, VR is taking off so fast and the possibilities are endless. The level of interactivity you can reach with VR ads is second to none and the user experiences that we are able to create have no ceiling! We are definitely excited to see where it’s heading from an advertising standpoint. This is just the beginning of VR ads and we can’t wait to see where it all goes.
What is planning Flo VR for the future?
Our plan is to create one of the best VR Ad Tech agencies and networks on the planet, while staying ahead of the curve and offering the most cutting edge, interactive VR ads as possible. We want clients to be able to come to us for a turnkey execution. We will handle everything from VR Content production to VR Ad Distribution and everything in between.
Our main goal right now is building our developer network while launching a few key campaigns in the coming months.