Virtual reality is painfully difficult to advertise. If you try to advertise the hardware, people can only see how dorky the user looks. If you advertise the game, it’s impossible to show what the experience is like for the player. The only way to truly sell VR is to demonstrate it in person. But I think Valve has gotten as close to nailing it as anyone has, yet.
Instead of doing one or the other, Valve has done both. They took the user, wearing the headset and superimposed them onto the world they’re exploring at that moment. All at once, we’re we’re seeing them and what they’re seeing.
While this is absolutely an advertisement for the HTC Vive and SteamVR, and touts some features specific to those, the parts of the trailer that really work apply to the Oculus Rift and PlayStation VR headsets as well, so this ad isn’t just for the Vive, but for virtual reality itself.
Thanks to the high price of these headsets and just how difficult it is to get into VR, coupled with this advertising problem, I’ve been going back and forth about whether virtual reality will end up being a flash in the pan or something bigger. If companies can figure out better ways to advertise it, as with this one, that could go a long way toward pulling potential buyers in.