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Virtual Reality


Award winning immersive research technology firm Gorilla in the room approached Populus Data Solutions to provide a fieldwork and data collection solution to support their brief from WPP media company Kinetic: to provide a virtual reality solution to measure the Mere-Exposure effect in an out-of-home (OOH) advertising context.


Gorilla in the room pioneered VR copy tests where respondents were exposed to OOH ads in virtual reality. Street scenes were filmed in 360 video and new ads were overlaid onto poster sites using photorealistic CGI (Computer Generated Image). Utilising the Populus Data Solutions VR panel a total of 325 respondents took part in the study, with 8 groups exposed to between 2 and 16 street scenes, with each scene having one poster advert. Importantly, respondents were told that they were going to see street scenes and no mention of the advertising was made to them. They could look around the street scene, as a situation of a real-world setting, and any exposure to the ads would be incidental. Respondents were then shown all 3 adverts, asked to look at these ads and respond about how they made them feel.


Respondents who saw the poster adverts rated those adverts more positively than adverts they had not seen, demonstrating that incidental exposure to advertising in VR had resulted in an exposure effect. Moreover, the pattern of responses across the exposures corresponded to a bell shape curve with the increase in emotional response to the advert increasing and then decreasing. As such, it was possible to ascertain a new value of optimal exposure frequency to advertising. This new value will help OOH advertisers plan more effectively so that clients can get a better ROI from OOH budgets. 


Further details of the solution can be seen here.