In our most recent survey (to be released next week) we see some evidence that marketers and agencies are beginning to feel that the shiny object called Virtual Reality may not be all that it was originally cracked up to be.

In 2016, 43% of marketers and agencies thought Virtual Reality was a “revolutionary technology”.

This year, only 38% of both groups felt the same way.

In past surveys both marketers and agencies have accused each other of chasing after “shiny objects”.  Looks to be true – on both sides.

Shiny Object Syndrome

Specific to Virtual Reality and the results from this survey.  We asked marketers and agencies why they were a little less enthusiastic.  Comments included:


  • Overhyped
  • Who knows.  Currently a curiousity (sic)
  • Neither revolutionary or a fad.  A reality.
  • An opportunity for the future.
  • Wouldn’t bet on an outcome.
  • TBD – will prove out useful for certain objectives.


  • Not sure yet.
  • A new technology to add to marketing.
  • Depends on the application for it.
  • Who has time for that!
  • An interesting opportunity if used effectively.
  • Somewhere in between.

While I’m a huge believer in agencies being highly proactive in bringing ideas and new solutions to the table when in a relationship with a marketer, sometimes enthusiasm can get in the way of realism.

You want your agency to be your eyes and ears in the market.  They need to be on top of what’s current and “shiny”.

But what you also want your agency to do – is to bring ideas and new technologies to the table with an idea of how it might apply to your business and how it can help better engage your consumer and how it can help build your brand.

Shiny is great.

Shiny with no substance isn’t a good use of anyone’s time.



Mark is a 30-year veteran of the consumer packaged goods, advertising, and marketing service industry. Mark started his career at DDB Needham in Chicago prior to earning his MBA from the J.L. Kellogg Business School at Northwestern where he majored in Marketing and Economics. Prior to starting RSW/US in 2005, Mark was General Manager for AcuPOLL, a global research consultancy. Sneider worked in Marketing for S.C. Johnson and KAO Brands. Sneider has been invited to speak at numerous Agency events and network conferences domestically and internationally including the 4A’s, Magnet, NAMA, TAAN, and MCAN. Sneider has been featured in prominent industry publications including Adweek, Media Post, e-Marketer, and Forbes. When not working (which often seems like not often), Mark likes to run miles, go to church, and just chill with a hard copy issue of Fast Company.