If the Pokémon Go craze a few months ago has taught us anything it is that the future is likely to hold more augmented and virtual reality platforms and, as marketers, we should be working on ways of inserting our brands into this parallel universe.
What is Virtual Reality Storytelling?
Research by Tractica has revealed predictions that 200million consumer virtual reality head-mounted displays (HMDs) will be sold worldwide by 2020. Plus, YouVisit’s Virtual Reality Brand Power Index has stated that 75% of the Forbes World’s Most Valuable Brands have already began work on some kind of virtual or augmented reality experience for customers or employees.
So, virtual reality is set to be the next big thing. But what’s that got to do with marketing and storytelling?
Well, if you want to bring your brand to life a strong narrative is vital; and if you want to stand out in this tech-savvy age you have to show value that goes beyond the basic ad. Consumers want to be wowed and you can immerse them in this by using virtual reality films or product placements in VR games.
How Could You Use it in Your Marketing Mix?
You can click onto a blog post or a landing page and quite easily bounce back off, or you can view the first few seconds of a video and tap pause, however if VR is used successfully, people won’t go anywhere.
Getting in on the action now and planning for the future could give you a competitive edge that makes your brand stand out from those around you.
A great example of how to use virtual reality storytelling comes from a partnership between Jaunt and The North Face. In their original content campaign, customers were given their own virtual experience of a professional climb in the snow-capped mountains of Nepal and Yosemite National Park through 360° video.
Why did the companies go to such effort? Well, the 360° experience showcased their products’ capabilities in one of the most extreme environments in the world. After all, why tell people what your products can do, when you can show them?
Another example comes from Boursin cheese, which used similar technology to give customers an experience that involved flying around the inside of a fridge as if they were borrower-sized. Whereas Marriott Hotels have been offering newly married VR honeymoon experiences.
So, what are your current options?
• Create a 360° video
• Brand Google Cardboards for clients
• Build a VR game
• Launch a VR app
• Produce a VR film
The virtual reality industry is set to break the $1billion (£710million) mark this year, could your marketing campaigns be a part of this? Maybe.