The World’s First Decent Ad For Virtual Reality

It’s long been impossible to share the immersive experience of VR in plain old video, but that problem was just solved.


Look, virtual reality is fantastic and immersive and transformative and blah blah blah. We’ve all heard that. The problem is, VR looks horrible in advertisements and media stories, which are forced to show:

  1. Weird dude standing alone in VR headset, feeling around a room as if he lost a contact
  2. Side-by-side video that looks great inside an Oculus, but confusing everywhere else
  3. Normal, 2-D video clips that look just like the video games we already have

Finally someone has figured out how to promote VR. SteamVR–the software platform on which the HTC Vive VR system runs–uses green-screen technology to “great effect” by superimposing that weird third person shot of the player we all know right into the amazing virtual environment he’s standing in.

Suddenly, that strange, blind flailing has the context of interactive pixels. So instead of looking like Palmer Luckey on the cover of Time, slack-jawed for no apparent reason, we see people enjoying VR because they’re literally having the experiences of a lifetime: standing on the bottom of the ocean, battling giant monsters, or, okay, frying up cartoon bacon on a virtual stove.

This will be the aesthetic we see for all major VR ads going forward, guaranteed. And if not, it should be. VR may even start to catch on because of it.

About the author

Mark Wilson is a senior writer at Fast Company who has written about design, technology, and culture for almost 15 years. His work has appeared at Gizmodo, Kotaku, PopMech, PopSci, Esquire, American Photo and Lucky Peach