Here's How Oculus Rift Could Change Advertising

The announcement that Facebook spent $2 billion of it's enormous cash reserves on Oculus Rift, the virtual reality headset for 3D gaming, rocked the tech, social and gaming world this week.

There's a lot of conversation and posting going on about how upset gamers are, and how the Kickstarter funders are a bit peeved as well.

But I want to focus on a different aspect of this purchase -- how Oculus Rift could change advertising altogether. First off, there is a new understanding emerging among the agencies and advertisers that they need to be "screen agnostic" to create a true brand storyline across the smartphone, tablet, desktop and TV screens.

The Rift now adds a new screen -- to an audience of over 1.2 billion, by the way -- and brands will start thinking about how they can both message to this new screen and learn more about consumer behavior from it.

In fact, UK supermarket giant Tesco is doing just that. According to Polygon, "The project is called "Tesco Pele," a researching opportunity for the company designed to study how to alter consumer behavior."

"Virtual merchandising allows us to pack virtual shelves with virtual products at the press of a button," Group CIO at Tesco Mike McNamara noted in a press statement. "Because we no longer have to go through the laborious process of laying out new merchandise assortments physically, we can now try out infinitely more range and format combinations."

WOW. Think of the new apps around this! Indeed, things just got VERY interesting.

Beverly Macy is host of Social Media Radio and teaches marketing and branding at UCLA Extension. She is the author of The Power of Real-Time Social Media Marketing Email her at