When I first came across The North Face: Nepal campaign created in collaboration with Jaunt VR I was absolutely amazed at the future marketing opportunities that VR could enable. The concept of the campaign and the VR video were created with an amazing amount of passion and professionalism, showing the World how Virtual Reality Marketing could create something truly memorable.
“Why create a Virtual Reality experience to show your brand’s product when you could create one to fully immerse the viewer in what your brand actually stands for?!” I think this is what everyone in the industry should be asking themselves before jumping onto the Virtual Reality Marketing bandwagon. Here are some examples of how to do it right.
1. Take a Stroll through a “Mixed Reality” Fashion Show
Martine Jarlgaard presented something called Mixed Reality at the London Fashion Week in September 2016. It was a world first and it combined Virtual Reality (of course) with Augmented Reality to create a Fashion Show experience like no other.
Future Virtual Reality Marketing Idea: Brands could easily use similar technologies to create VR fashion stores. People would just put their headset on and their living room would turn into a virtual store. They would then browse around, pick and buy what they liked. As a bonus, brands could create a video experience (like a scripted journey) where they would present their products being worn as they were imagined to be worn.
2. Take a First Class Flight with Nicole Kidman
Etihad Airways created a VR short movie on one of their luxury A380 flights to Abu Dhabi featuring Nicole Kidman. This is an amazingly smart example of creating a story around your brand and showing off your product/service in a very subtle way.
I am really excited about the innovative pieces of content that the travel and leisure industries will come up with next. From my point of view, there is already a suite of great VR travel apps and sites out there, and hopefully the world will soon start to experience them on a mass-market scale.
Future Virtual Reality Marketing Idea: Creating a series of adventure-travel immersive videos in which you take the viewer on an amazingly scenic ride through a certain travel location (or even several locations). You can include product placement and various historic information about what people are experiencing, just to give it a monetary and cultural boost.
3. Take a Ride on a Motherboard Spaceship
MSI launched their latest motherboard in style: they created a VR experience in which you take a ride in a spaceship that soars around this futuristic city, only to discover that the city is actually the motherboard – Whoa! What is really awesome about this campaign is that it uses the medium to highlight the product in a very smart way. Rather than show you a motherboard (an interesting piece of tech but I wouldn’t necessarily want to see one in VR), they show you what your computer will be capable of with the respective motherboard. Smart, right?
Future Virtual Reality Marketing Idea: Creating experiences to show off the capabilities of a certain piece of tech, that also include game elements or mini-games and reward viewers that get the most points with some integrated tech prizes. What could be more immersive than that?
4. Take a Walk through a Haunted Forest
Preceding the launch of the Blair Witch movie, a 360 VR experience and a VR teaser trailer were created; for the VR teaser you have to play Sisters, yet another horror VR experience. This may just be the future of movie trailers as we know it. I would definitely like to be in the middle of the action as it happens to the main character of a movie, rather than watching him experience amazing adventures from the sidelines (may work better for action and horror movies than dramas or comedies though). This could also be the future of movies someday (see Hardcore Henry).
Future Virtual Reality Marketing Idea: Creating an immersive movie trailer which could end on a cliffhanger and offer the viewer the option to directly buy tickets to a cinema close to his location (DVDs, Blu-Rays, t-shirts, after launch). This could also be done for a certain product the main character would be using (for example a smart watch being used by an action hero) thus benefiting both the movie and the respective sponsor.
Virtual Reality Marketing is still an emerging concept which has a lot of potential to create some very immersive experiences. Given the fact that VR production studios have been launched, offering solutions for both publishers and agencies/companies (VirtualSKY, vertebrae, and VIRE, for example) I would say that in the future we might be adding “VR Campaign” to our usual Marketing Mix. I just hope people use this opportunity to create amazing content that will also have a good impact, not just good sales figures.
We really enjoyed analysing the Virtual Reality Marketing landscape and coming up with ideas for future campaigns, not to mention writing this article. If you enjoyed reading it and found it useful, don’t hesitate to share it with your friends on Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn. Thank you!