Virtual Reality (VR) is rapidly gaining traction and becoming a powerful marketing tool. VR allows consumers to not only get an upfront, first-row look at individual products, but immerse themselves inside an experience with your brand. It’s a big, warm hug from your brand, when traditional media can feel like a cold fist bump. Virtual reality also improves buyer awareness, accelerates purchasing, and gives access to personalized choices for buyers looking for customization. This unique technology is not a fad; it’s the way of the future.
Virtual Reality is getting past its problems
VR has been in and out of the news for good reason. The concept seemed like the flying cars of the Jetson’s at first, and it had more bugs than a back-country cabin. Back in 2015, the magazine, Wired, suggested some improvements that would need to occur before consumers would sign off on using VR. The glitches included:
- Looking silly when wearing the gear
- Virtual reality sickness, much akin to seasickness
- The vergence-accommodation conflict that blocks the brain from receiving mismatching cues between the distance of a virtual 3D object (vergence) and the focusing distance (accommodation)
- Fatigue and discomfort for the viewer
Happily, these problems have lessened as time goes by, and today, VR is even a tool that is useful for treating anxiety and other psychiatric disorders.
Best Uses for Virtual Reality
Anytime there’s a trend, people will want to jump on the bandwagon and do it for no good reason. Use a platform if what you’re trying to accomplish is best done on that platform. See pretty pictures? Instagram. Laugh at silliness? TikTok. VR is meant to be an immersive experience, so if the story you’re trying to tell isn’t all that captivating in the actual, real-world environment, then don’t use it. People are just fine, for example, NOT sitting in a conference. It doesn’t make it cooler to sit in the conference via VR. VR is best for those scenarios where people can’t easily access your content or experience.
- Virtual Tours
Your university wants to draw prospective students from across the globe. Allow them to see what the quad is like, visit a residence hall, or sit in a lecture in their chosen area of study. You can shoot 360 video in dozens of locations around your campus to help the student get a genuine idea of what it will be like to live there.
2. Virtual Events
I know I just said this isn’t for conferences, but what if your event is Lollapalooza? Allow your audience to feel the crowds, see the stage, listen to the music as if it were live… the only thing missing is the $28 beer.
3. Going Where No One Goes
Whether it’s a behind-the-scenes tour of your medical lab, or any tour of a facility or location that’s typically off-limits, Virtual Reality lets people behind the curtain into unseen worlds. A great example of this is to go inside a home on fire. Outside of firefighters, none of us would have that experience, but VR can take you there. Ask yourself: Where can your brand take people that no one else can?
The home improvement giant, Lowes, has set up a virtual reality activation in what they are calling a Holoroom. The idea is to allow customers to view, by way of a VR headset, how to use specific tools with which they may not be familiar. Kyle Nel, the director of Lowe’s Innovative Labs, stated that the tactile nature of virtual reality allows for improved learning. Nel added:
“In a trial run, Lowe’s found that customers had a 36% better recall of how to complete the project when compared with people who watched a YouTube how-to video.”
Receiving what is close to “IRL” instruction from those who are experts in these skills is going to make many a do-it-yourself-er enormously happy.
The Many Uses of Virtual Reality
VR has the opportunity to truly change the world, especially in healthcare. It can:
- Enable doctors to make better healthcare decisions.
- Allow physicians to engage in interactive medical imaging.
- Deliver enhanced holistic pictures of patients’ needs and medical history
- Provide insights for patients
- Experience the impact of specific procedures in real-time
Job Training Uses for VR
Workers who are in high-risk professions may learn best by “doing” than by relying on abstract theory.
High-risk jobs such as firefighting, the military, and policing are helping workers who receive VR training. They can practice routine emergency procedures and learn the ins and outs of their work in a consequence-free setting.
Cinema and entertainment such as TV, movies, and videos will continue offering sensory-filled experiences making entertainment much more immersive for the 66 percent of consumers who are looking forward to VR for film, TV, and video.
During the pandemic, or if you need to save up a bit more cash before you take off to the four corners of the earth, know that VR enables users to visit museums and historical sites by using VR.
If you want to ensure your hotel is as great as it sounds on paper, tour the hotel virtually before booking.
The Fashion Industry and VR
It’s almost as if fashion is a VR dream come true.
1. Can’t make it to or afford traveling to high-end fashion shows around the world? Now you can do so using VR.
2. The industry has perfected augmented and virtual-reality “try-on.”
3. Customers in New York City who could not be at the Milan “Dreaming of Italy” show, VR allowed everyone to view the collections in 360 degrees. Microsoft’s Hololens gadgets made it possible for guests to combine and switch clothing items using simple hand gestures.
The result of using VR in fashion includes:
- Increasing customer visits
- Reducing costs
- Grabbing the attention of audience members
- Viral looping
- Shopper input
Marketing and Advertising and VR
Naturally, marketing is solidly rooted in finding ways to get the consumer’s attention. And, nothing grabs a person’s engagement better than VR. Here are some examples:
In 2016, Patrón Tequila used virtual reality to bring a 360-degree view of the location where this noteworthy tequila production takes place. This virtual reality project was able to capture the spirit of the product in a manner that was comprehensive and fun.
Ford’s Immersive Vehicle Environment aims at engineers from different countries to work on the design and the assembly of the vehicle and to evaluate employees’ safety. Ford also offers a virtual test drive, using a smartphone for potential buyers.
Sports and VR
Some sports events are filming games using 360-degree cameras. Viewers feel they are experiencing the event.
VR is has enabled Olympic athletes to continue their training and virtual preparation sessions in safe settings. Others have used VR as a part of the post-rehabilitation journey.
We are a video production and content agency with expertise in visual storytelling. We are artists, journalists, strategic digital marketers, and cinematographers. What our entire team strives for is genuine, branded content in marketing.
There is an intimate connection that consumers experience when authenticity is in place. We know how vital loyalty and advocacy can be, and we want that for our clients. One of our values is using real people, real-life examples, and sincere and passionate messages to ensure that your products shine.
At Scenic Road, we like to think of ourselves as creative, inspired, teachable, direct, empathetic, engaging, interested, and easygoing. Let us know how we can help you in the realm of virtual reality.