Virtual reality (VR) and marketing can be a powerful force when combined.
VR in marketing offers users a unique opportunity to experience destinations, products, events and many different things like never before. With online video advertising exploding over the past few years it’s no surprise that marketers are hungry for the next big thing to engage their target market.
Enter VR, With Facebook’s $2billion investment in 360 degree video technology, there’s no doubt it is going to impact the way marketers will try to get their audience’s attention.
Why virtual reality in marketing?
To put it simply: engagement. Engagement levels are incredibly high when it comes to VR. The technology is new, it’s exciting, and users are wowed by the powerful experience. Interestingly, many brands who engage with 360 video and other VR concepts have been using it as a one off marketing campaign.
Many of the VR campaigns marketers are creating have similarities:
They have a clear message delivered by storytelling.
Their creative concepts are well thought out and are intended to wow users.
These concepts create a memory/new experience for the user.
The entire VR campaign remains interactive and captures the user’s undivided attention.
How to get VR campaigns to market
VR has been a difficult feat for marketers in the past. Not every consumer has a set of 3D goggles in their living room — marketers needed to be savvy. However, the future or marketing through VR is much more accessible than it was even two months ago, especially for mobile.
In March 2014 Facebook acquired Oculus, a leading VR technology company. Last month Facebook, with the help of Oculus, released 360 degree video on their platform opening a whole new world for users and advertisers alike. On desktop you have the option to click around and view the videos in much the same was as you use Google Maps. However, it’s on mobile devices the video comes to life. You can move your device to view all angles, it makes you feel as if you’re there in the moment.
In March Youtube started supporting the option of 360 degree videos uploads, and beer brewery Bud Light was the first company in the US to use a 360 degree video advertisement.
Using VR is fun, engaging and somewhat unique
Here are a some of our favourite examples from different industries:
Real estate - 3D virtual reality tours open up a lot of options in the market for real estates. With users able to tour a house at any stage, they can come to a decision much easier!
Hotels/travel - The Marriott transports you to their hotel destinations in Hawaii and London with these clever campaigns. Imagine the possibilities for tour or attraction businesses around the globe. Perhaps a sneak peek before you get there?
Automotive industry - Mini created multiple 360 video ‘mini stories’ to grab the attention of their users. Viewing the journey on your smartphone or tablet gives you an interesting experience, one where you find yourself becoming part of the story.
Alcoholic beverages - Patron produced a unique 360 VR brand story, it’s highly engaging and really gives their product that ‘hand crafted, high-value product feel’ once you understand the hard work that goes into creating the tequila.