Virtual reality (VR) represents the most complete immersion into an experience that consumers can have. It is a new way for brands to tell stories and engage with audiences like never before. VR is kind of the holy grail for digital marketing because you can completely surround your potential client with the experience of your product.
The importance of virtual reality (VR) was underlined by a surprise appearance by Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg at a Samsung product launch in February during which he predicted VR will be “the most social platform”.
“It’s still really early for 360 videos,” said Zuckerberg. “But one day soon all of us are going to have the power to broadcast live what we’re doing, whenever we want, so that our friends and families can experience it as if they are right there with us.”
What’s more, consumers are highly interested in VR, and not just Gen Z. Older generations are drawn to it too.
In a Nov 2015 from Greenlight VR, a magority of all age group expressed an interest in Virtual Reality.
WHAT KIND OF CONTENT IS A GOOD FIT?
Experiential videos that place you somewhere that you can not easily get to or in activities most of us don’t do everyday. like parashuting or visiting the artic are and obvious choice. Also, as Mark Zuckerberg alluded to, VR content needs to be content that could bring people together in a social manner. Educational content and instructional videos are another good fit.
According to Ocean MacAdams, GoPro VP of Entertainment, “Right now, the best uses of VR are capturing incredible moments, and putting you right there in the middle of the action,” he said during the fireside chat at DEW.
There are also some good examples of VR starting to pop up around the web. In September 2015, GoPro announced it would bring immersive, 360 video to Facebook. Since then, they hav posted 360 degree surfing in Tahiti and motocross in the Idaho desert.
In February virtual reality production company IM360‘s announced a new partnership with ABC’s “Good Morning America” (GMA). As part of the partnership they presented “GMA on Safarai,” a first-person 360-degree video simulcast with “Good Morning America” news anchor Amy Robach’s from Africa on the encroaching threat of poachers to the continent’s animals.
The simulcast featured virtual reality and drone content filmed in the Ngorongoro Conservation Area and neighboring Serengeti National Park, which is populated with lions, leopards, buffalo, rhinos and elephants. “GMA on Safari” is viewable on desktops at ABCNews.com/VR and via the IM360 app on iOS and Android devices.
There is certainly more established, cheaper and easier-to-manage video technology out there. VR should be looked at carefully before brands decide to utilize the technology in their campaigns. Pretending that VR marketing can adequately represent something like a high-end test drive — or the feel of a golf club swing — could actually do damage to the brand.
For now brands should look to this technology for limited experiential marketing to help achieve aspirational branding. You might not feel what it’s like to drive a that car down a winding mountain road, but the drive you go on could be associated with an adventurous, outdoorsy brand. This kind of associative value is the new kind of content marketing to get consumers interested in a product or to attach a certain aura to a brand.
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OUTDOORFLICS is a Digital Division of Adventure Advertising, LLC. With so many different ways to reach your audience, it’s important to stay on top of the latest tactics and trends in the ever evolving field of digital marketing. Follow us on linked in to stay informed.