Dramamine ad suggests VR motion sickness solution

by Ian Hamilton • August 10th, 2015

In the grand scheme of things, I would suggest Palmer Luckey looking a little awkward on the cover of Time Magazine is not a threat to the adoption of virtual reality. Associating the technology with Dramamine, however, is a little more problematic.

Dramamine is a brand of Dimenhyrdrinate used “to prevent and treat nausea, vomiting, and dizziness caused by motion sickness.” It is made by Prestige Brands, a company which makes a number of over-the-counter treatments like Clear Eyes and Luden’s throat lozenges. To promote Dramamine,  the company recently produced an advertisement in which five “real” people who are suggested to be susceptible to motion sickness are shown taking Dramamine before being suspended in the air and put inside the “Dramamine Motion Simulator.” It appears to be a white DK2 headset with a fan blowing at the participants who supposedly see themselves racing, flying (with a mid-air spin) and riding a roller coaster. Afterward, they comment on how good they feel.

“These statements have not been evaluated by the food and drug administration,” a tiny disclaimer on the ad reads.

Dramamine is “for treating motion sickness, no matter where you are going,” says a man in a white lab coat who is “not a doctor or a licensed medical professional.”

Here’s the ad:

It is definitely a cute spot and is probably a smart play for Prestige Brands to promote its product, but for VR it might leave the lasting impression among those who don’t closely follow the technology that VR requires motion sickness medication to keep you from feeling queasy afterward.

Facebook did not acquire Oculus for more than $2 billion with the expectation that people would have to use Dramamine in order to enjoy the Rift. On the contrary, Oculus and Valve have been trying to solve this problem for years now and will soon be shipping consumer products with the expectation that very few, if any, will feel motion sickness discomfort when used correctly.

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