Innovations in technology have made virtual reality (VR), a viable medium in the last decade. Most recently VR has begun to slowly permeate into the consumer market. Smart marketers are already recognising the potential of VR in attracting and engaging audiences. VR is currently being used to promote holidays, gaming experiences and has even been tipped to be used as a form of therapy to treat depression and help smokers quit. The flexibility of its application across industries shows how the tool can be used right now.
Here are some of our favourite VR campaigns and a lesson to take away from each when crafting your VR experience.
1. Marriot Hotels | Multi-sensory
Marriot Hotels gave couples the chance to experience a virtual holiday in 8 locations. Marriot did not simply rely on the visual experience but also appealed to peoples other senses by simulating the sound of the sea and even having a water spritzer to imitate the humidity and ocean spray of a beach get away.
2. Top Shop | Novel
For their AW14 London Fashion Week show, Topshop in collaboration with Initio, created a VR world which allowed a select group of Topshop fans to sit in a virtual front row. The novelty of this experience allowed fans, who had never sat in the “frow” at Fashion Week, to encounter a virtual runway show. This campaign not only fulfilled the desire of Topshop fashionistas, it also got attention for promoting Topshop in a fresh way.
3. Game of Thrones | Memorable
How many people can say they have climbed The Wall of Westeros? This campaign, executed by Oculus Rift, was a treat for fans of the hit television series, Game of Thrones. The VR experience was memorable and gave participants something to brag about.
4. Merrell | Immersive
To promote Merrell’s new hiking shoe, the brand used motion capture technology that allowed participants to walk around VR landscapes. The campaign also tracked the movements of the participants, allowing the landscape to react to their movements.
As VR becomes more of a commercial reality, marketers should look to develop experiences which are multi-sensory, novel, memorable and immersive