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“Gaming, AR and VR will become mainstream ad channels” predicts IPA President Douglas

IPA President Julian Douglas has called on the marketing industry to “embrace new technologies and shift gaming and AR/VR from the periphery to the mainstream of advertising” in his New Year address, delivered for the first time from the metaverse.

Filmed at virtual production studios Garden Studios in London, Douglas outlined his belief that recent campaigns such as The O2 in Fortnite, Fashion Awards in Roblox and Adidas NFTs could be just the start of a seismic change to the shape of the advertising industry. 

He said: “These gaming technologies have already transformed the film world and the potential for advertising is huge. At the press of a button they can turn day to night and back again, transport me to multiple locations with no flights, no visas, no PCR tests required. This virtual production approach is opening up a whole new world of opportunities and crucially, significantly reducing travel – the single biggest contributor to our carbon impact.”

To help agencies explore and understand the potential of the metaverse further in 2022, the IPA will be hosting a virtual conference on immersive gaming with SF Big, San Francisco’s digital marketing association. Back in the UK, in the spring, the IPA will also be piloting an interactive workshop with Collective and Unreal, where member agencies can explore the gaming engine and its creative potential.

Douglas also used his speech to celebrate positive industry initiatives introduced over the past year. Highlights include 800 people completing the newly launched IPA Diversity and Inclusivity qualification; a tenfold increase in the number of people completing the IPA Excellence Diploma in Business, delivered by LSE; 19 agencies being awarded the brand new IPA Effectiveness Accreditation for their strong effectiveness cultures; and the launch of the pioneering AdNetZero Certificate, designed to help us all play our part in addressing the climate crisis.

Initiatives for 2022 will include the Pitch Positive Pledge, a collaboration between ISBA and IPA to improve the current pitch system; the iList 2022 that celebrates the heroes of inclusion across the industry; and the IPA Effectiveness Awards. 

Douglas said: “I’ve built my Presidency on seizing these abnormal times, this discontinuous moment, to tackle some of the long-standing issues we face as an industry and society. UK advertising showed remarkable strength and adaptability in 2021.”

You can watch the full speech, delivered from the metaverse, here.