New Quest Ad Spot is One of Oculus’ Best Yet


Communicating what it feels like to use VR to someone who has never done it before is one of VR’s major marketing challenges. Oculus’ new ‘Defy Reality’ ad spot for Quest effectively uses mixed reality video capture to show players in VR, instead of just showing first person footage that’s hard to understand if you haven’t actually been in a headset before.

Though Oculus’ new PC headset, Rift S, also launched today, it’s clear that the marketing effort is squarely behind Quest, their first standalone headset with 6DOF tracking. The launch of the headset has also brought a ‘Defy Reality’ ad campaign that aims to highlight VR’s ability to provide immersive (and otherwise impossible) experiences.

Oculus has made some polished ads for their VR products before, but as far as we’re aware, this new 60 second ‘Defy Reality’ ad spot is the first from the company to make use of real mixed reality capture which shows players right in the context of the game they’re playing:

It’s a huge improvement over ads that just show a first person perspective of the VR content which, to people who have never actually used VR, often looks like a somewhat more confusing version of traditional first-person game played on a TV or monitor. It’s also a huge improvement over some truly bad VR ad spots like this 2016 ad for Gear VR which had a bumbling protagonist and suggested you’d look like a goof using VR in public.

Mixed reality capture is a great way to communicate the experience of VR to people who have never used it, but it isn’t easy. It requires spatial and temporal synchronization between the virtual world and the real world, including knowing exactly where the real camera is located in space (so that the virtual camera can be precisely aligned). This has been made easier in recent years thanks to tools like LIV TV (which Oculus used in the Defy Reality ad spot).

Oculus is far from the first to use mixed reality capture for VR. Trailer maker and VFX artist Kert Gartner did some pioneering work back in 2016 with early VR games like Fantastic Contraption and Job Simulator to show how compelling high quality mixed reality trailers could be.

Smart Solution Makes Handheld VR Cinematography Easy with a Real Virtual Camera

A good VR ad, whether for Quest or some other headset, is good for the industry at large since a basic understanding of what it’s like to use a VR headset remains a challenge for taking VR mainstream.

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  • Great positive article on the new ad spots. I likewise, was really impressed by the ads and use of mixed reality. We tinkered in our studio with our own mixed reality filming setup with the vive and got a great working setup, after embracing the then steep learning curve. I do wonder what extra steps they have gone through to get it working for the quest (if that’s even possible at all).

    For the Vive/Rift you would plug a 3rd controller into your PC (with a usb extension) which would act as a virtual camera (which you’d align with your real world camera) so you can blend the footage in post.

    It would be great if there was support for a virtual camera in the same VR space as the quest a user was using. Perfect for creating TV ad spots of even just a great looking live mixed reality feed for gamers to stream on twitch etc.

    • VR Cambodia

      There is a possibility to use a streaming app like VRidge to play steam VR games on the Quest and then perhaps with some modifications to LIV pair a virtual camera within the game with their compositor and then capture the mixed reality footage. I hope someone can figure it out.

  • JesuSaveSouls

    This is excellent for beginners and pioneers alike.The family and when the hacks and apps come updated like riftcat/vridge making the uest possible to stream direct remotely steamvr it will be a monumental event for vr pc gamers.Jesus died for you too,He is God’s Son and alive !

  • Christoph Ortlepp

    Check out Using LIV’s tools we shot the Mixed Reality scenes in this trailer. Get in touch if you are a game developer and want to talk about MR for your release!

  • Zachary Scott Dickerson

    I love my Quest so far, and so do the wife/kids. More so than the Vive even!

  • Hivemind9000

    I can see home insurance policies adding a new checkbox to their application forms – Do you own an Oculus Quest or similar? Tick the box and pay the premium…