Virtual Reality (VR) started off unattainable as high-end gaming technology like Oculus Rift, Valve, HTC’s Vive, and Sony PlayStation VR. All of these technologies must also be connected, by cable, to a high end computer, but thanks to innovations like Google cardboard and Samsung’s Galaxy VR gear which convert’s  smartphones into a VR headset, Virtual Reality has the opportunity to reach the masses – and provide an exciting entrance for brands into consumers lives. Combine a 360 degree camera, and you have yourself a winner for Virtual Reality (VR) success, creating impactful content for marketing campaigns. Although images and videos can be optimized using certain online software to create the VR effect.

Why Use VR?
Firstly virtual reality can create a completely immersive experience for users. Since the supplied image covers the user’s entire visual field and moves with them as they look around, they get the intense experience of being transported, completely, to another place. Often visuals are also paired with surround sound and in some cases specially designed rooms to walk around in, too.

VR is memorable, and impactful as the experience connects to people’s emotions, feelings, and a direct connection to engagement and mindfulness.

Lastly, VR is a novelty. It’s current and companies, who associate with themselves with the technology, benefit from positive publicity and perceptions of modernity.

 

The Impact of VR

 

Marketing Through Virtual Reality

Video marketing through VR can be perceived as a bit far-fetched. But for those who recognise the market and are in the game, know the potential for marketing campaigns. Advertisers can now test new markets, through video channels using YouTube and other online mediums.

 

vr-phone

 

Where can you connect with consumers through VR?

VR can play a part in marketing to a consumer at any point in their consumption journey.

 

Pre-Purchase:

Outdoor VR Pop-ups can be anything from stands to rollercoasters. The hotel chain, Marriott, used VR’s immersive properties to transport participants through visuals and sound to places around the world. From the bustling streets of London to the buzzing forests of the Amazon, the message was, hint hint, we have a hotel nearby. The marketing legend, Coca-Cola, proved that they are still a relevant and modern brand by building a children’s Christmas ride that through VR was transformed into Santa’s sleigh, pulled by reindeers.

 

For those who prefer to remain at home, every single video on You Tube can be viewed in VR and Volvo has created an online VR advert that simulates driving in their latest model. As the user cruses through a scenic drive they also become familiar and comfortable with the car’s interior.

 

In-Store:

VR can be found in-store such as Top Shop’s virtual catwalk show that customers could sit down and enjoy a front row seat to an otherwise exclusive event.

 

Post-Purchase:

VR can inspire loyalty. Mc Donald’s concept happy meal packaging design can fold up into Google Cardboard and is paired with a free Mc Donald’s kid’s app.

 

Take a look at some of the best uses of VR for Marketing: http://www.mbryonic.com/best-vr/

 

 

How to get results:

Winning at VR is all about taking your consumer past the “that’s cool” moment and onto a memorable experience. To do this you need to tell stories that resonate with your audience and that speak to what your brand is all about.

  • Tell a story about what makes your brand special: how product is made, its heritage, tradition, does it take you places like Marriott Hotels?
  • Allow people to explore and educate themselves about your products.
  • Entertain by using a rich visual environment and as many senses as possible to really drive your brands message home.

 

Watch out for:

  • The safety of participants in the real world as they fumble and get frights in the virtual one.
  • Too much going on can become overwhelming or upsetting
  • Storytelling becomes a craft when users can look anywhere they want.

All-in-all taking your brand to VR can create a memorable experience for consumers. The medium’s unique ability to allow exploration, experience, education, and entertainment can create a relationship between consumer and brand, that’s hard to beat.

 

 

Resources:

http://www.mbryonic.com/best-vr/http://www.mbryonic.com/virtual-reality-guide/,https://www.thinkwithgoogle.com/articles/virtual-reality-advertising.html?utm_medium=email-d&utm_source=2016-06-think-letter-us&utm_campaign=20160630-think-monthly-edition-d-OT-BM-DV&utm_content=Video-article-1-img&mkt_tok=eyJpIjoiWlRGbE1HSTFPVGRsWm1ZMCIsInQiOiI3RGxxVGpGS2pRc2pUZExEVTlFdnhTV3Z2MFJFXC9UU1c2d3piZmNUZElBSnl2T1c0WTkwUXl1eTZzXC9sTENaZ1NNdWNsTnVKUStmMlZRazV5dnhxUlNxNEtjU2lBSWdaTkJnejdCUHVkcFhnPSJ9
http://www.fastcocreate.com/3037109/virtual-reality-for-marketers-5-ways-to-succeed-with-oculus-rift)

https://www.fastcompany.com/3052209/tech-forecast/vr-and-augmented-reality-will-soon-be-worth-150-billion-here-are-the-major-pla

 

 

Written by Abigail Koch, Abigail is a student of psychology and anthropology at the University of Witwatersrand. She is a young writer and a published children’s book writer and illustrator. Her interest in marketing, strategy and behavioral economics allows her to be a specialist projects consultant and designer.