HOW BRANDS ARE EXPERIMENTING WITH VIRTUAL REALITY
Updated: Jan 23, 2020
We’re pretty viciously excited about the possibilities of Augmented and Virtual reality and what this will mean for your brand in the future. Its early days at the moment but AR/VR creates huge opportunities around engagement and awareness for the following reasons:
1. It’s Immersive – users wearing a headset are completely immersed in the content meaning fewer distractions and more attention on your message.
2. It’s Impactful – the intensity of a #VRexperience is greater than traditional media generating strong emotions in its users which are linked to real behaviour change.
3. It’s Memorable – VR experiences have a longer trace in the audience’s memory. Your customer’s brains are built to remember events linked to locations and experiences.
4. It’s innovative – with heavy media and public interest in VR early adopters can benefit from favourable media exposure.
But how can you find out what #VRstrategies are working you ask? Well here are Four Pretty Vicious examples of early adopters, from soft drinks, publishing, travel and fashion.
THE NEW YORK TIMES
The #NewYorkTimes has been making inroads in VR for some time, with a number of 3D films being released to subscribers. Now, Subscribers of the newspaper also get a pair of “Google Cardboard “ glasses in the post (See image above), letting them adapt their smartphones to view content. In 2015 a VR app was also released, which is available for free in both app, as well as 2D versions of the films on the NYT website and YouTube channel.
Last Christmas, Coca Cola created a #virtualreality sleigh ride using Oculus Rift. In Poland thousands of people were immersed in a virtual world making them Santa Claus for a day and allowing them to fly over the country into different villages, much like a roller-coaster ride.
TopShop previously offered lucky competition winners the chance to experience their exclusive fashion runway show during London Fashion Week, using a 360 panoramic video stream.
This pop-up space in TopShop’s flagship London store, provided great visibility for the brand. The experience, created by by the London VR studio Inition also offered. behind the scene footage from within the experience and won #topshop the ‘Project of the Year‘ at the BT Retail Week Technology Awards in 2014.
Thomas Cook at its Bluewater shopping centre concept store in England smartly began to get in on the VR act, which makes sense considering the travel industry is arguably best-suited to the technology.
Customers are able to use Oculus Rift to view one of the company's Sentido resorts as well as the in-flight experience. Customer are actually able to explore an environment within VR, by turning their head and using a handset and they’re also working on using sensory triumvirate by using audio and fragrance to create an even more immersive experience.
Fast forward to Just last week where #Facebook at their 2017 F8 event unveiled their AR and VR technology (Facebook spaces). Whilst the AR features showcased are mostly still in beta mode, the #VRtechnology is now available to a limited audience.
The reality is however, when it comes VR patience is needed - as headsets aren’t common place… yet! As Facebook Spaces is rolled out; many interactions must necessarily be between one caller in real life and one in VR. It will take time to see whether these interactions work so your brand won’t need to worry about this for now, as truly social experiences in VR will depend on headset penetration increasing dramatically.
No doubt being able to label real world objects will be a super cool and a functional use, but the real gem in AR is actually identification and search – pointing your camera at something (let's say a bottle) and being told what that thing is and either where to get it or what to do with it.
It’s unknown whether people will enjoy these types of experiences. Whilst the millennial's and youngsters might want to hide behind an avatar, only time will tell if #augmentedreality and #virtualreality make real experiences all the more valuable.
If you'd like to discuss ways your brand could incorporate or start thinking about VR consult a Pretty Vicious expert. It's likely early adoption will grow your customer base in ways previously unachievable.
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Until next time...