Virtual reality is still very much a “try it before you buy it” proposition, but in Facebook’s latest Oculus Go advert, they’re reaching out to the masses with the help of A-listers Jonah Hill, Adam Levine, Wiz Khalifa, Awkwafina, and Leslie Jones.

Pulling from the rolodex of SNL cast members and long-time featured guests, Facebook no doubt spent a pretty penny assembling the mix of comedic actors and rappers—a possible sign that the company is going all-in this holiday season to drum up public awareness of Oculus Go, the $200 standalone VR headset.

Here’s the ad in case you haven’t seen it yet:

While we don’t suggest watching Netflix VR in a hot bath (lens fog is real, folks), or leaving an open flame unattended when wearing a VR headset—Oculus warns that following Leslie Jones’ example “may cause injury or device damage”—it’s an interesting look at what Oculus thinks is important to people.

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What the ad is really trying to get at is this: Oculus Go is supposed to be your own private media device and occasional chat platform, featuring Netflix, Hulu, Oculus Venues and 360 concert app MelodyVR at center stage.

The ad makes no mention of games, with three-quarters of the usecases showing off solo watching experiences, peppered with comic relief to fill what would otherwise be silent, still people sitting back and relaxing. Playing off the egocentrism of rappers in general, Wiz neglects his friends and groupies at a party to watch his own 360 concert. If it weren’t for the obvious comedic value, it could be construed as a counter argument to VR adoption, e.g.: neglect your friends and play alone in VR instead.

Flawed or not, it’s decidedly the most pronounced ad the company has put out for Go to date, and probably the most expensive too.


What do you think of the latest Oculus Go ad? Have you seen it on TV or at the movie theater? Let us know in the comments below.

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  • impurekind

    And they showed basically nothing that’s actually genuinely compelling and truly amazing in VR right now. Watching stuff on a virtual TV is fun, but the tech doesn’t quite do it full justice yet. Watching live games and concerts is fun, but the tech doesn’t do it full justice yet. It’s games/apps like Chronos, Vanishing Realms, Beat Saber, Rec Room, Quill, Superhot VR, Lone Echo, Arizona Sunshine, Resident Evil 7, Google Earth VR and Hold the World and that kind of thing that truly shows off VR at it’s best. And that’s the kind of stuff they need to be showing of if they want people to experience VR properly. Although, does the Go even have any of these games/experiences? Maybe a device like the Go isn’t really the best showcase for what VR is, what it has to offer, and what it’s truly capable of. But at least it’s pretty cheap and low fuss, which is a bonus and positive.

    • Gato Satanista

      Facebook must realize that VR is not a fucking smartphone or TV right now. VR is not ready for the masses yet. We don’t have the right devices and we don’t have the right content. VR, right now, is for the gamers. Even with the actual “flaws” I fully enjoy gaming on VR. But I fully hate watching TV, 3D videos and stuff like that. For that, my couch and my TV is miles away ahead. I understand that in the long run, facebook wants VR to be a mass product. But they don’t have mass appeal right now. Nobody cant’t watch a VR Avengers movie. Sure, we can put a movie in a big virtual tv on VR, but will be pixelated and not worth the effort. TV is better for that. If someone buy a VR device based on this adverts, the result will be total disapointment. And think in the first iPhone. The first iPhone was a fully realized mass product. Oculus go is not.

      • kool

        I agree totally! While VR could use some star power publicity, the go isn’t gonna wow the crowd it brings in. It so basic at this point I would have saved this commercial for the quest.

      • thank god oculus isn’t following this mindset. vr would die. I bet you 80-90% of future vr use is doing just what you saw you the video. it might not be what you r doing but a lot of people will be and oculus is smart to do this they building a brand.

        • kool

          But the viewing experience isn’t up to par yet and how many people can you really bring in that are excited about low res vids. I hope they have some better tech and compelling content lined up, maybe by the celebs in the video. Because if what we’ve seen so far, there is no reason to buy in yet.

      • impurekind

        Yeah, that’s my experience of trying to watch 360 videos my Rift too. It has been utterly abysmal for the most part.

    • Blaexe

      Gaming is not Gos selling point, its a media consumption device. The ad makes perfectly sense. I’m sure we’ll see gaming-oriented ads for Quest next year.

      • kool

        I think they should save the hub bub for the quest. The basic graphics of the go is sure to turn off some new comers to the platform.

        • Blaexe

          Not in my experience. I brought the Go to work and people loved the experience. All of them. People with high end VR experience underestimate this device.

    • Doctor Bambi

      This commercial isn’t trying to show what’s compelling about VR in general, it’s showing what’s compelling about Go. As someone who uses their Go regularly, I can tell you everything they are showing here is absolutely on point. Like all VR experiences, it’s hard to really understand the magic of it without trying it yourself. You don’t really think about it all that often, but there are comfy places in or around your home that aren’t really conducive to watching media, being able to turn those places into the ultimate media space is really profound.
      And I also have to give credit to Venues. Getting the chance to watch OC5 with a bunch of like-minded VR enthusiasts is something I won’t forget anytime soon. If you have a Go and haven’t tried Venues yet, I strongly suggest you give it a shot. It’s just as compelling an experience as any of the games you listed (which are all fantastic in their own way too).

      • impurekind

        This sounds really good then. But it’s strange, because every experience I’ve had watching a 3D movie or trying to join other people during some streaming even or whatever has been utterly terrible on my Rift. I don’t understand how it’s so compelling on these portable headsets yet it runs and look crap on my Rift.

        • Blaexe

          The Oculus Go has a higher resolution and quite a bit more subpixels. I would never want to watch a movie on my Rift, but it’s okay-ish on the Go.

  • Mateusz Pawluczuk

    Wiz Khalifa’s part is actually quite funny ;p “Ok.. he’s watching him”.

    After seeing this ad I did however check MelodyVR and experience seems to be mediocre – nonstereoscopic 360 med-res (2k?) and 5 different cameras to choose from :( Not all that immersive tbh.

    They way I see it, Oculus should hire Felix&Paul, get a bunch of music videos done with some household names, make these available only in VR and then do a commercial where celebrities react while screaming “you gotta check this out!!” ;) So that it wouldn’t even be about Oculus Go but about doing / experiencing whatever your idol is experiencing at the moment.

    • S

      FYI, Wizz in VR180 3D: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yQxFZF2E1oQ (check it in the headset obviously

      • Mateusz Pawluczuk

        Yeah, that’s significantly better than what’s available on MelodyVR (and what’s shown in commercial). At least it means Wiz definitely had experienced proper VR :D

  • NooYawker

    While celebrity endorsements don’t sway those who actually understand the product, it does sway the masses.

    • Ben Smith

      most marketing is subconcious, so whether you think it’s working or not. Only time will tell in your buying habits.

  • iThinkMyCatIsAFlea

    Does Jonah Hill & Co. know that the co-founder of Oculus financed an alt-right group with Milo Yiannopoulos?

    I bet he doesn’t.

    @Jonah Hill & Co. Google Oculus Trump.

    • kool

      Guess who made your vw bug!

      • Foreign Devil

        News flash: Palmer doesn’t work for FB or Oculus anymore! get over your anger.

        • iThinkMyCatIsAFlea

          Palmer owns Facebook shares.

          If Oculus does well, Facebook shares increase and Palmer profits.

          Don’t support Oculus.

          Google Oculus Trump.

          • Sama

            Im gonna go out and buy another 2 Rifts for my cousins just to spite you. Stay mad libtard.

    • PJ

      Take your political crap elsewhere

  • The fact that they are using VIPs in advertisements is great to drive more consumers into VR. The commercial is nice, IMHO

  • daveinpublic

    Whether or not this appeals to the crowd here, we know this works. When it comes to marketing, you can often just throw a bunch of money at it and get tons of market share. Of course there’s good practices, but this basic type of commercial with the celebrities and showing simple functionality almost always works. I’m actually surprised to see Facebook doing this and I’m glad they are. Oculus Go could have a healthy user base in the coming months, leading to more games, apps, etc.

  • Alexisms

    No idea who any of these three are. Is that a good or bad thing?