Elissa Moses (Ipsos)
Working with Ipsos, the Royal Shakespeare Company (RSC), launched a project to explore the emotional response to a production of Titus Andronicus—known as Shakespeare’s goriest play—in different contexts: live in a theatre, streamed cinema, and a filmed VR experience. Participants wore heart monitors to test reactions and there was a survey after exposure.
- Consistent response in heart rate across test cells.
- 91% in VR felt like they were in the theater versus 64% said the same of the cinema experience.
- The play created for the cinema has benefits: respondents liked seeing detailed reactions etc.
- Many VR participants reacted as the audience in the live experience.
- Theatre and cinema performance participants focus more on acting performance.
Implications for advertising:
- The study confirms that the ad medium or platform is an important context. Understanding the channel you choose matters. Advertisers can take advantage of the strengths of a specific medium.
- The industry has not begun to examine what VR can deliver—but the assumption is that the VR experience is compelling—those early to adopt will be ahead of the curve.
- The industry needs to think about VR as a different advertising channel—that said, advertisers may also need to manage respondent expectations.