This month’s debunked blog kicks-off our 2023 prediction series.

The mixed reality (MR) revolution is already underway, and it’s becoming (scarily) easier to envision a future in which the lines between the real world and the virtual world become even more blurred than they are today. Businesses are currently experimenting with VR and AR in ways that promise to change the landscape of advertising and marketing over time. And it makes sense. In a world where content is immersive, engaging, other-worldy – the opportunity for advertising to take place within these environments is huge. And, contextual advertising will play a leading role. Why? Well it will very much be centered around personalized, relevant advertising in environments consumers trust and love – oh, and all in the perfect moment and mindset.

I predict 2023 will be the year that contextual advertising/marketing will start to come into its own within the MR landscape. Some key reasons why I feel this is so exciting:

  • Personalization in its truest form. People are all about living and learning through immersive experiences. Both VR and AR technologies open the door to personalized experiences that are unique to every individual. Contextual advertising, messaging and marketing – at the individual level – is one of marketing’s “holy grails,” and this future will soon be part of our daily lives. It goes without saying that given how intimately personal these experiences will be, as an industry we need to be held accountable more than ever with regards to ensuring privacy, safety, and relevance. As much as consumers may be wowed by these types of experiences, likewise the risk of alienating them on account of being irrelevant, intrusive – or worse- is very real.
  • Virtual Engagements Replacing Physical Events It sounds scary in some ways, however, the ability for virtual experiences to take place instead of, or in tandem with physical events is quite exciting. As we have seen throughout the past year, virtual events didn’t have the legs we thought they might have, and after two years locked down, we are very much enjoying the ‘back to reality’ vibes. However, have you ever opted for a night in and experienced FOMO? Imagine being able to pop on your VR set and be there? And for advertisers, this opportunity is incredible.
  • The Hybridized Experience VR and AR is a little more easier to digest for consumers through the hybridized virtual and in-person experiences. From work environments, including group events such as team building, etc., as well as social events including concerts, shows and other experiences, having a mixture of people on the ground and virtual presence will continue to grow. These continued adoptions of virtual experiences allow virtual and augmented reality to be incorporated by brands and advertisers to bring something new and engaging to their consumers.
  • The Gaming Opportunity The bigger the audiences, the better the marketing and the wider the opportunity. Although VR/AR has the potential to have big audiences in the future, the gaming community is growing tenfold. In the U.S., experts estimate that nearly 60 million people will use VR, and more than 90 million people will use AR, a minimum of once a month in 2021. Aside from using the tech to experience brands in new ways, this represents a big opportunity for advertising as a whole.
  • More Empowered Decision-Making The MR movement allows for a data-driven, scientific approach to strategy as well as to the derived result. Contextual advancements and AI empowers the decision-making process by accurately placing consumer sentiment.

Stay tuned weekly for our 2023 prediction series.